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NRASummary Powered By Docstoc
					                         	
           	
           	
           	
           	
           	
          	
           	
           	
                                              	
  

Keep	
  Denver	
  Competitive	
  
A	
  Fight	
  against	
  Working	
  Families,	
  	
  
Brought	
  to	
  you	
  by	
  the	
  National	
  Restaurant	
  Association	
  and	
  other	
  Corporate	
  Lobbyists	
  

There’s	
  a	
  battle	
  in	
  Denver	
  right	
  now.	
  	
  On	
  one	
  side	
  are	
  107,000	
  hard-­‐working	
  people	
  unable	
  to	
  take	
  a	
  day	
  off	
  
when	
  they’re	
  sick.	
  	
  And	
  on	
  the	
  other	
  side	
  is	
  the	
  $600,000,000,000	
  restaurant	
  industry.	
  

More	
  than	
  107,000	
  mainly	
  low-­‐wage	
  restaurant,	
  daycare	
  and	
  eldercare	
  workers	
  in	
  Denver	
  are	
  unable	
  to	
  earn	
  
paid	
  sick	
  days	
  at	
  work.	
  And	
  the	
  $600	
  billion	
  dollar	
  restaurant	
  industry	
  –	
  along	
  with	
  five	
  other	
  high-­‐powered,	
  
national	
  lobby	
  and	
  pressure	
  groups	
  –	
  is	
  determined	
  to	
  keep	
  it	
  that	
  way.	
  

Paid	
  sick	
  days	
  is	
  a	
  common	
  sense	
  policy	
  that	
  has	
  been	
  documented	
  to	
  improve	
  the	
  public	
  health,	
  help	
  working	
  
families	
  and	
  grow	
  our	
  economy,	
  these	
  deep-­‐pocketed	
  corporate	
  lobbyists	
  and	
  big	
  businesses	
  are	
  waging	
  a	
  costly	
  
fight	
  to	
  keep	
  their	
  profits	
  plump.	
  	
  The	
  fight	
  against	
  bringing	
  the	
  workplace	
  into	
  the	
  21st	
  century	
  means	
  
thousands	
  of	
  workers	
  in	
  these	
  tough	
  times	
  have	
  to	
  choose	
  between	
  their	
  family’s	
  financial	
  security	
  and	
  their	
  
health	
  or	
  the	
  health	
  of	
  a	
  child.	
  

Under	
  the	
  umbrella	
  of	
  “Keep	
  Denver	
  Competitive”	
  and	
  the	
  Hospitality	
  Industry	
  PAC,	
  at	
  least	
  $645,270	
  has	
  been	
  
raised	
  to	
  date	
  to	
  keep	
  workers	
  from	
  being	
  able	
  to	
  earn	
  paid	
  sick	
  time.	
  	
  While	
  some	
  opposition	
  funding	
  has	
  come	
  
from	
  corporate	
  CEOs	
  and	
  lobbyists	
  based	
  in	
  Denver,	
  a	
  significant	
  portion	
  has	
  come	
  from	
  out	
  of	
  state	
  players.	
  	
  	
  

            The	
  National	
  Restaurant	
  Association	
  (NRA),	
  based	
  in	
  Washington,	
  DC,	
  is	
  the	
  single	
  largest	
  contributor	
  to	
  
            the	
  opposition	
  and	
  has	
  given	
  more	
  than	
  $100,000	
  to	
  defeat	
  this	
  initiative.	
  	
  

            More	
  than	
  $250,000	
  of	
  the	
  opposition’s	
  donations	
  are	
  from	
  out	
  of	
  state	
  –	
  and	
  many	
  of	
  the	
  local	
  
            restaurants	
  that	
  have	
  contributed	
  to	
  the	
  campaign	
  against	
  the	
  paid	
  sick	
  days	
  initiative	
  are	
  part	
  of	
  large,	
  
            profitable	
  national	
  chains,	
  including	
  Pizza	
  Hut,	
  KFC,	
  Taco	
  Bell,	
  Buffalo	
  Wild	
  Wings	
  and	
  Morton’s	
  of	
  
            Chicago.	
  	
  

These	
  resources	
  are	
  part	
  of	
  a	
  larger	
  national	
  agenda	
  designed	
  to	
  stop	
  paid	
  sick	
  days,	
  along	
  with	
  changes	
  in	
  
minimum	
  wages,	
  overtime	
  pay,	
  and	
  other	
  employment	
  laws	
  that	
  have	
  proven	
  to	
  help	
  American	
  workers	
  and	
  
improve	
  the	
  economy.	
  The	
  agenda	
  goes	
  so	
  far	
  as	
  to	
  fight	
  efforts	
  to	
  make	
  workplaces	
  more	
  accessible	
  for	
  people	
  
with	
  disabilities	
  and	
  a	
  federal	
  law	
  to	
  help	
  breastfeeding	
  mothers	
  in	
  the	
  workplace.	
  

Some	
  of	
  wealthiest	
  and	
  most	
  conservative	
  corporate	
  actors	
  in	
  the	
  nation	
  are	
  connected	
  to	
  this	
  agenda,	
  including	
  
the	
  Koch	
  brothers,	
  who	
  have	
  given	
  more	
  than	
  $100	
  million	
  to	
  conservative	
  organizations	
  including	
  the	
  Heritage	
  
Foundation	
  and	
  the	
  Tea	
  Party-­‐linked	
  groups,	
  Americans	
  for	
  Prosperity	
  and	
  FreedomWorks,	
  are	
  connected	
  to	
  the	
  
“Keep	
  Denver	
  Competitive”	
  and	
  other	
  opposition	
  movements.	
  

	
  
	
  

The	
  National	
  Restaurant	
  Association	
  and	
  Colorado	
  Restaurant	
  Association	
  	
  
“The	
  NRA	
  plans	
  to	
  take	
  a	
  more	
  active	
  role	
  in	
  (such)	
  state	
  and	
  local	
  fights	
  in	
  the	
  future,”	
  said	
  Rob	
  Gifford,	
  the	
  
NRA’s	
  executive	
  VP	
  for	
  political	
  advocacy	
  in	
  a	
  recent	
  article	
  in	
  the	
  Nation’s	
  Restaurant	
  News.	
  “Keep	
  Denver	
  
Competitive”	
  is	
  led	
  by	
  the	
  $50	
  million	
  NRA	
  and	
  its	
  affiliate,	
  the	
  Colorado	
  Restaurant	
  Association.	
  	
  In	
  fact,	
  the	
  
NRA’s	
  opposition	
  to	
  paid	
  sick	
  days	
  in	
  Denver	
  is	
  part	
  of	
  a	
  major	
  national	
  campaign.	
  The	
  NRA	
  has	
  already	
  weighed	
  
in	
  against	
  paid	
  sick	
  day	
  efforts	
  in	
  Connecticut,	
  California,	
  Massachusetts,	
  Vermont,	
  New	
  York	
  City,	
  San	
  Francisco,	
  
Milwaukee	
  and	
  other	
  cities	
  and	
  states.	
  

The	
  NRA	
  has	
  a	
  long	
  history	
  of	
  fighting	
  basic	
  workplace	
  protections	
  and	
  standards	
  that	
  help	
  working	
  families.	
  	
  The	
  
NRA	
  was	
  among	
  the	
  fiercest	
  opponents	
  of	
  the	
  Fair	
  Labor	
  Standards	
  Act,	
  which	
  ended	
  child	
  labor	
  and	
  established	
  
the	
  national	
  minimum	
  wage	
  in	
  1938.	
  	
  They	
  cried	
  wolf	
  back	
  then	
  too	
  –	
  saying	
  that	
  if	
  a	
  minimum	
  wage	
  was	
  
established	
  “firms	
  would	
  be	
  destroyed,	
  workers	
  would	
  be	
  replaced	
  by	
  machines,	
  prices	
  would	
  rise,	
  exports	
  
would	
  diminish….”	
  	
  

More	
  recently,	
  the	
  NRA	
  has	
  continued	
  funding	
  efforts	
  to	
  oppose	
  increases	
  in	
  the	
  minimum	
  wage,	
  spending	
  
almost	
  $800,000	
  in	
  total	
  in	
  the	
  state	
  to	
  fight	
  the	
  minimum	
  wage	
  initiatives	
  in	
  Denver	
  in	
  1996,	
  statewide	
  in	
  2006	
  
and	
  efforts	
  to	
  repeal	
  Colorado’s	
  Right	
  to	
  Work	
  laws	
  in	
  2008.	
  

Richard	
  Berman,	
  a	
  National	
  Restaurant	
  Association	
  partner	
  has	
  ridiculed	
  paid	
  sick	
  days	
  proponents	
  for	
  
attempting	
  to	
  "improv[e]	
  the	
  situation	
  of	
  the	
  working	
  poor."	
  	
  In	
  July,	
  the	
  Employment	
  Policies	
  Institute	
  -­‐	
  a	
  group	
  
funded	
  by	
  the	
  NRA	
  members	
  and	
  headed	
  by	
  Berman	
  -­‐-­‐	
  released	
  results	
  of	
  a	
  poll	
  commissioned	
  by	
  the	
  NRA	
  that	
  
erroneously	
  cast	
  Denver’s	
  paid	
  sick	
  leave	
  initiative	
  as	
  an	
  effort	
  to	
  enable	
  workers	
  to	
  use	
  paid	
  days	
  for	
  non-­‐
medical	
  purposes,	
  “such	
  as	
  extending	
  their	
  summer	
  vacation.”	
  

	
  

	
  

The	
  107,000	
  Denver	
  workers	
  are	
  not	
  alone,	
  however.	
  Even	
  those	
  who	
  have	
  paid	
  sick	
  days	
  don’t	
  want	
  to	
  be	
  
served	
  flu	
  with	
  their	
  fries,	
  or	
  have	
  their	
  children	
  sit	
  next	
  to	
  an	
  ill	
  child	
  whose	
  parent	
  couldn’t	
  afford	
  to	
  stay	
  
home.	
  Many	
  area	
  business	
  owners	
  are	
  also	
  supporting	
  Initiative	
  300.	
  They	
  already	
  offer	
  paid	
  sick	
  days	
  because	
  
it’s	
  the	
  smart	
  way	
  to	
  do	
  business	
  and	
  because	
  they	
  want	
  a	
  healthy	
  Denver.	
  

This	
  is	
  a	
  fight	
  between	
  a	
  $600	
  billion	
  industry	
  that	
  would	
  rather	
  fatten	
  its	
  profits	
  than	
  protect	
  the	
  health	
  of	
  its	
  
worker	
  and	
  customers	
  in	
  Denver	
  and	
  across	
  the	
  country.	
  	
  This	
  is	
  a	
  fight	
  to	
  make	
  it	
  possible	
  for	
  a	
  $4.34	
  an	
  hour	
  
restaurant	
  worker	
  to	
  stay	
  home	
  when	
  she’s	
  sick	
  and	
  not	
  lose	
  a	
  day’s	
  pay	
  or	
  her	
  job.	
  

				
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