Denver's Convention Bid Sees Progress
By possibly unionizing the Pepsi Center and winning labor approval:
Progress was made Thursday on breaking an impasse that has held up Denver's bid for the Democratic National Convention.
The Denver stagehands union, which would handle much of the inside construction at the convention, thus far has refused to sign a pledge not to strike or picket during the gathering. The Pepsi Center ordinarily uses nonunion crews, and the union has said it won't sign an agreement unless the Pepsi Center management agrees to negotiate.
Now national labor officials in Washington, D.C., are trying to find a compromise between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local No. 7 and Denver's host committee.
"Folks in Washington are thinking creatively about what could work," said Leslie Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation. "I've been getting calls from the national AFL-CIO."
Labor unions are a core constituency of the Democratic Party, and the convention can't be held in Denver unless all the unions involved sign off. Moody said it is premature to talk about a possible agreement, but she said labor's ultimate goal was to unionize the Pepsi Center.