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IQ: State of the union 

Unions can be thanked for the 40-hour workweek, for laws against workplace discrimination, for workplace safety laws and for the minimum wage. Colorado Springs, though, has historically been hostile to unions -- with the attitude that management knows best.

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Chuck Russell
Hillside Contractor

What do unions do? Some unions kind of control things. The more freedom the better, I say, and I think unions take some of that freedom away. Ideally, they were created to protect the people from being used unfairly, but sometimes they try to control too much.

In your experience, do unions abuse their power? I've seen instances where they do and instances where they don't.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Isn't he in Aspen?

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Ryan Kercher
Black Forest Photographer

What is it that unions do? Mostly, they protect workers' rights by going to bat for the worker if he or she gets into a dispute with the employer.

Are you pro- or anti-union? A little of both. I see the benefits of having unions, but I can also see where that can be a detriment to companies who don't want union labor.

Why do unions fare so poorly in Colorado? I think it's the pioneer spirit of Colorado. This state is built on doing your own thing, not on belonging to groups.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa? I have a hunch he's buried beneath the pitcher's mound in Wrigley Field.

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Ruth Schubarth
West Side Self-employed artist

What function do unions serve? They represent employee interests and make sure their rights are protected.

Are you pro-union or anti-union? Probably pro. The little people need representation against the big people.

Why has Colorado Springs tended to be so anti-union? Probably due to the big business and military population here. People here are more worried about business interests than worker interests.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Somewhere in Jersey Secaucus or Hoboken.

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Rudy Perez
Central Restaurant owner

What do unions do? They protect the rights of and advocate for workers.

Are you more pro- or anti-union? I'm pro-union. You can't leave it up to the benevolence of the business owner to take care of the worker. Business is supposed to take care of business, not look after the worker.

Are you a union member? Not now, but I belonged to the Colorado Springs Education Association when I taught elementary school for a number of years.

Why the hostility to unions in this town? This is a very conservative population. They see no need for union protection of workers.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Pushing up weeds in a landfill somewhere.

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