SEIU Wants To Play Ball For Dem Convention

It’s no secret that relations between labor and the Democratic Party have soured since last year.

There was the struggle to unionize the Denver’s Hyatt Regency, the no-strike agreements convention planners had asked labor groups to sign, and then the Governor’s veto of a bill that would have made it easier for unions to organize.

But despite the problems, one of the state’s most influential unions is giving its blessing for the Democratic National Convention in 2008, just in time for Howard Dean’s visit. In a press statement released today, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 president Mitch Ackerman spoke in favor of the convention and lauded Gov. Ritter for signing a whistleblower protection bill for health care workers:

“Make no mistake. SEIU, like other unions, is impatient for change because working families in our state desperately need improvements. More than 770,000 Colorado residents lack health insurance, Colorado is number one in home foreclosures and TABOR and past budget cuts have left the education system that working families depend on under-funded. But moving an agenda that benefits Colorado’s working families is only possible when we are willing to work productively with the elected leaders of our state and our country–before the curtain rises at the Convention.

“To this end, we welcome the Democratic National Convention as an opportunity for Colorado to start walking the walk by taking action now on the issues that Colorado’s working families care about

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at