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IATSE Demands Respect During DNC

DENVER, CO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Pepsi Center is looking to keep busy during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, but a labor dispute almost killed the city’s chances at playing host.

Rhino Staging and Events currently holds the contract to stage events at the Pepsi Center, but agreed to step aside to allow union stagehands from the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) handle the convention, and helped secure the bid for the DNC over rival New York City.

"We’ve resolved that issue with regard to the union and I think that everything else was falling into place," Willie Shepard, of the Denver Host Committee, told Denver’s CBS4.

The union is trying to use this decision as leverage for a long-term contract to unionize stagehands at the Pepsi Center, which has used a private firm since replacing the McNichols Arena in 1999.

"I know that the union wants the opportunity to get in and organize the people who do the work at the Pepsi Center," said Leslie Moody with the Denver Area Labor Federation. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers