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Thumbs down: Business as usual 

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Thumbs down: Business as usual

Opponents of the scuttled "Freedom to Work" ordinance fretted it represented, as Mayor Greg Ballard put it in his veto, "an overreaching overly burdensome city regulation on business because it unreasonably interferes with private entities' right to freely contract with each other." Hotel workers and union organizers flooded the city-county council chambers to support the effort, with many claiming that temporary agencies make agreements with their clients which prevent the hotels from hiring temporary workers directly into permanent staff positions. Opponents of the proposed ordinance said no one ever produced proof that such a practice exists — at least not written a document. The testimonials of hotel workers' experiences, it seems, were not sufficient. Five days after the mayor's veto, Elvia Bahena, a worker subcontracted to work at Hyatt who testified at the council hearing, was fired. Absent of written agreements that effectively work to keep the most impoverished among us — many new immigrants and refugees — locked into indentured servitude, it seems the unwritten rules of business may be alive and well.

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