- - Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Three weeks before the Democratic National Convention this summer, union leaders plan to hold their own “shadow convention” to promote labor issues they think too many elected officials are ignoring.

The union gathering in Philadelphia on Aug. 11 is inspired by the anger many labor officials felt after Democrats decided to stage their nominating convention in North Carolina, a right-to-work state that is the least unionized in the country.

Most unions are still planning to attend the Charlotte, N.C., convention, but more than a dozen are boycotting it. Other unions are not spending big money on the convention as they have in the past.

“Having the convention in Charlotte was kind of a wake-up call to that fact that really no one’s paying attention to the middle class and to working people in this country,” said Ed Hill, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The Philadelphia rally will feature thousands of union members and a “union bill of rights” that officials hope will become a talking point at both the Democratic and Republican party conventions.

Some Democrats see the event as an unwanted distraction that highlights divisions among traditional political allies, but Mr. Hill says unions remain committed to re-electing President Obama.

About a quarter of Democratic convention delegates come from unions.


Romney visits food bank in fire-stricken state

COLORADO SPRINGS — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is visiting a food bank in southern Colorado that’s working to help victims of the region’s wildfires.

Mr. Romney on Tuesday stopped by Care and Share in Colorado Springs to help box up food for firefighters and people displaced by the fires that have wracked the state this summer.

He urged Americans to visit Colorado despite the fires to keep its tourism industry thriving. He toured the food bank and met behind closed doors with victims of the fires.

Mr. Romney was set to fly to Houston Tuesday evening ahead of a planned speech to the NAACP annual convention on Wednesday morning.


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