Labor Tussle Hits Home

    The Colorado AFL-CIO is not the smoothest operation right now, even after the national federation decided to change local leadership by cutting the jobs of President Steve Adams and Secretary-Treasurer Paul Mendrick.

    Now reports show Mendrick is going to appeal the decision, and later today news came out that Adams has chosen to resign. From the Rocky Mountain News:

    “Steve believes it is in the interest of the Colorado Labor movement that both officers step aside to allow the healing and re-building process to move forward,” Keith Maddox, deputy trustee of the Colorado federation, wrote in an email obtained by the Rocky Mountain News.
    AFL-CIO President John Sweeney is expected to release a statement shortly.

    Adams could not immediately be reached for comment.

    The national office appointed trustees to oversee the Colorado AFL-CIO because of conflicts between its two principal officers.

    And then this article:

    Ousted Colorado AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Paul Mendrick has launched a formal appeal of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s decision to put the state labor federation into trusteeship.

    In a letter mailed to Sweeney’s office this week, Mendrick said he plans to file a brief arguing the state AFL-CIO did not meet any of the criteria giving Sweeney the right to seize control of the office.

    Mendrick said several local unions and Colorado AFL-CIO board members also want to appeal the national office’s recent takeover of the state office.

    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


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