December 19, 2006

Labor Leader Refuses To Sign "No Strike" Agreement, A "Deal Breaker" For Denver's Convention Bid

Leave it to a loony labor leader to louse up Denver's convention bid by refusing to sign a "no strike" agreement:
Denver's bid to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention hit a serious snag Monday after a union leader refused to sign a no-strike pledge, with a decision due anytime.

City and union officials confirmed Monday that Jim Taylor, head of the local stagehands union, is refusing to sign a mandatory agreement with national Democrats pledging not to strike if the convention comes to Denver.

Debbie Willhite, executive director of the host committee, said not having full union support is "probably a deal breaker" for the DNC.

But Denver's director of theaters and arenas, Jack Finlaw, said he was "optimistic" that Taylor and the stagehands would sign on.

"There is still time," Finlaw said.

The decision could come as soon as today, but Democrats said they would finalize their 2008 convention by the end of the year.

Taylor, president of the Local No. 7 International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, balked at signing because labor views the Pepsi Center as anti-union, said labor leader Leslie Moody.

"I think that has been the case all along," said Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation. "There are several unions that really aren't interested in signing on."
Unions are not the law of the land west of the Mississippi, and Democrats hoping to appeal to voters beyond their "special interest" activist base--unions especially--will end up snubbing the independent Western unaffiliated/moderate voters by choosing ultra-unionized New York as their venue. Excuses such as fundraising issues have been created to deflect the real reason why Denver's convention bid is sinking: union obtuseness. Apparently, the Democrats and their convention are a still "closed shop".

Even the Dems think this sucks, as Jeralyn Merritt of Elevated Voices urges the local union to get with it.



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