Denver, CO —The membership of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 7 congratulate the Democratic National Committee and the Denver Host Committee for bringing the 2008 Democratic National Convention to the Mile High City.
While Stagehands support the Denver pick, union members have voted unanimously three times to oppose holding the event at the designated venue, the Pepsi Center. More than 300 long-time union workers lost their jobs when McNichols Arena closed in 1999, and the new arena opened. The Pepsi Center’s labor contractor does not use union workers.
Said Local 7 Business Representative James Taylor, “Denver can be a great place for the Democrats to nominate a winning ticket that will turn this country blue. We look forward to working with the DNC and the Host Committee to resolve labor issues at the Pepsi Center or finding another venue.”
Continued Taylor, “Democrats should act like Democrats and support working people. It’s just not right for the party of working people to hold their convention in an anti-union facility. It’s the anti-union position of the ownership, not the facility. The union has opposed holding the convention at the Pepsi Center since Democrats first floated the idea last spring.
Taylor cited a 1999 Denver City Council resolution that said in part “…it would be unfortunate if public subsidy to private companies resulted in a loss of…jobs for Denver residents.”
Local 7 Stagehands have called on city officials to stand by their pledge to urge the Pepsi Center to use union employees, as Denver gave developers the land and nearly $6 million worth of tax breaks and improvements when the new arena was built.
Published reports that the Democratic National Committee has reached a compromise with the Pepsi Center to use union employees during the convention have not been verified.