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Colorado Initiative 117 (2008)

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Initiative 117 or the Cost of Living Wage Increases Initiative would have required every employer in Colorado to provide their employees with an annual wage or salary increase based on the Consumer Price Index for Colorado. In no instances could employees wages be reduced because of a decrease in the CPI.

This was a new version of an earlier proposal (Initiative 96) filed by the same proponents. This measure, however, would not require (as Initiative 96 would) that the pay hikes would have to be in addition to any regular pay increases due to union contracts, employer policies, or any other agreements.

This measure was a citizen-initiated state statute.

This measure was withdrawn by its proponents in June 2008 as an overture to business interests, hoping to encourage proponents of the Colorado Right to Work Initiative to withdraw that measure as well.

"We want to show that we're open to negotiation with the business community," said Manny Gonzales, a spokesman for UFCW Local 7.[1]

Kelley Harp, a spokesman for A Better Colorado, the group pushing Amendment 47, said the withdrawal of the UFCW measures will not keep the right-to-work initiative from appearing on November's ballot.[1]


This measure was sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7. It was a new version of an earlier proposal (Initiative 96) that was filed as part of a counter-attack in retaliation against the Right to Work Initiative (Initiative 41), which would prohibit union costs from being deducted from the paychecks of employees who choose not to join the union.[2][3][4]


The South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and other business interests have indicated that they will oppose all such initiatives, which they see as negatively affecting the state's business climate.[5]

"Continued support of these initiatives creates an adversarial dynamic between these groups and threatens Colorado's economic peace and vitality," the Chamber said in a statement, adding that the current Labor Peace Act has "served Colorado well for 60 years in allowing for cordial relations between management and labor."[5]

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce launched a group called Coloradans for Responsible Reform, which raised money from business interests to oppose this initiative as well as numerous other initiatives that they saw as anti-business.[6]

The National Federation of Independent Business of Colorado announced May 1, 2008, that it has joined Coloradans for Responsible Reform in the effort.[6]


In June 2008, the measure was withdrawn by proponents.

See also

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