Colorado AFL-CIO Hopes ‘Moderate’ Plan Gains Backing, Retreats From Anti-Business Agenda

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Colorado AFL-CIO wants bidding advantage for local-workforce businesses
Ed Sealover | Denver Business Journal
January 18, 2011

Colorado AFL-CIO leaders put forward a more moderate legislative agenda Tuesday for which they said they hoped to find backers in the business world and across the political spectrum.

The five-point legislative agenda, nicknamed “Reinvest in Colorado,” includes a push to give public bidding preferences to companies whose workforce comes from within Colorado and who use products made in America. More broadly, it also seeks to protect the jobs and salaries of state workers in the budget-cutting process, to continue providing unemployment benefits and to stop the state from awarding contracts to companies that outsource jobs internationally.

Gone from the agenda are past controversial efforts to require union-scale pay on state public-works projects, to allow workers to collect unemployment insurance benefits during lockouts and to tilt the state’s Labor Peace Act in favor of unions.

Phil Hayes, political and legislative director for the organization, said officials have begun talks with business leaders in hopes of getting organizations to support some or all of the bills. But he said he feels the new agenda is in the spirit of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s call to work across traditional divides to look to turn around the economy.

“We are presenting a broad new message here. These are popular things,” Hayes said. “We’re sending a strong message that we want to work with Hickenlooper and the other leaders.”

Read more @ via Denver Business Journal.

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