Recently a newspaper article about the threatened nurses’ strike contained the quote “Santa Fe is a Union Town”. This gave me food for thought. The reality is somewhat different. The argument can be made that we are a “government town” with fully 40% of the local workforce being employed by local, state or federal government agencies. And it is true that some staff of some government departments are unionized.

However when we look at the private sector only two of the top fifty major employers in Santa Fe are union shops. Furthermore with over 3000 businesses in Santa Fe County only a handful have any union workers at all.

The reality is that Santa Fe is a small business town. We have our share of national retailers but the vast majority of Santa Fe businesses are independent and many are family–owned.

The tourism industry is our largest non-government business sector with no union employees at all. Small business wants the freedom to operate with as little interference as possible whether from government or organized labor. We must support our independent entrepreneurs in their efforts to be successful and create jobs. Government depends upon taxes generated by the private sector.
Let’s make Santa Fe a Business Town with opportunities for all to work, raise a family and be successful. 150 marchers on a Sunday do not a union town make.

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