Laid-Off Iowa Factory Worker Fed Up With Trump’s ‘Lies’

Robert Morrison, 64, hasn’t always been involved in politics.  The self-described introvert said he gets easily tongue-tied when he speaks, so he usually keeps to himself. “I’ve always been led to believe if you work hard and you’re productive, you’ll get taken care of,” Morrison told Starting Line. So, he never worried about much. That all changed last year when he and 124 other factory workers in Burlington learned they’d soon be laid off. Their jobs would be shipped overseas.  He openly calls President Donald Trump a liar now.  “Trump said that no more good-paying jobs will be going overseas […]

Bernie Sanders’ Iowa Campaign Helps Rally Local Unions

Photo from Bernie Sanders in a march with striking McDonald’s workers in Cedar Rapids three weeks ago. In a show of solidarity with labor, Bernie Sanders’ Iowa campaign used their extensive email list to help rally union members in Southeast Iowa for a march this weekend. The campaign sent around emails encouraging Iowans to show up to the “No to NAFTA 2.0” rally in Keokuk on Sunday. Abshir Omar, Sander’s Iowa Political Coordinator, said union members gathered for a march to protest President Donald Trump’s proposed changes to NAFTA. He said several unions showed up to the march, including the […]

Iowa Fire Fighters Union Endorse Biden

The Iowa Professional Fire Fighters union has voted to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 Iowa Caucuses. “Vice President Biden is honored and humbled to have the endorsement of the Iowa Professional Fire Fighters. Every day, Iowa’s firefighters put their lives on the line in communities across our state,” said Biden’s Iowa State Director Jake Braun. “As he has throughout his life, Vice President Biden remains committed to ensuring fire fighters have the resources, tools and support they need to return home safely to their families.” “Iowa firefighters run toward danger to protect the communities they serve […]

Violence Against Workers Spikes At Independence Facility

Four staff members were attacked while working at the Independence Mental Health Institute over a nine day period, according to an AFSCME Council 61 statement earlier today. The incidents began on June 6 when a residential treatment worker was hit on the head and jaw by a patient who escaped restraints. The staff member is now collecting workers’ compensation and is being treated for a head injury, a cervical sprain and TMJ pain. A registered nurse was attacked the same day. The RN was punched in the nose and scratched. The RN gave notice of her planned resignation, then was […]

Iowa Labor Lawsuits Pile Up, But State Rarely Gets Punished

At least seven unions have filed lawsuits against the State of Iowa since collective bargaining rules changed in 2017. Complaints have been filed against the Iowa Board of Regents, the State of Iowa and the Public Employment Relations Board for alleged unfair treatment of public safety employees and for questions about the validity of agreements reached between the unions and the state. Other than a slap on the wrist for refusing to negotiate with the faculty union at the University of Northern Iowa and the graduate students union at the University of Iowa, the state has been successful in defending […]

Iowa Fire Fighters Union May Be The Next To Endorse Biden

Iowa firefighters showed up for Joe Biden during his latest two swings throughout Iowa, but state union members have yet to officially endorse him. The state group won’t offer an endorsement to any candidate until after its state convention June 20 and 21, when delegates from across Iowa will meet and cast their votes. Doug Neys, president of the Iowa Professional Fire Fighters, said it certainly seems like the spotlight will be on his group as they make their decision. But, he said, it’s a role they’re happy to take on. “Iowa is not the largest state in the union, […]

Julian Castro Promises To Appoint Progressive Judges To Overcome McConnell

Democrat Julian Castro promised a 9-year-old girl in Urbandale who asked him about climate change that his first executive order as president would be to sign the Paris Climate Accord. That, Castro said during an Urbandale house party on Friday, would ensure her generation has cleaner air and water. Castro called climate change “the biggest threat we face in this country” and told the girl if it’s not fixed soon, “it may be that one day there is no United States of America.” Scarlett Montgomery, who’s going into the fourth grade, said she asked the question about climate change because […]

Warren’s New Plan To Help Small Business Owners Of Color

Elizabeth Warren unveiled today her plan to create a Small Business Equity Fund, which would work to even the playing field for entrepreneurs of color who are trying to start their own businesses. According to an outline of Warren’s plan, on average Black, Latinx, Native American and other minority households have less wealth and therefore less collateral to use to gain credit than white Americans. Typically, Black entrepreneurs start a business with just $35,000, which is about one-third of the money white Americans use to start up a business. It’s why entrepreneurs of color own less than 20 percent of […]

Iowa Union Workers Wonder Where Trump’s Jobs Are

President Donald Trump traveled to Iowa yesterday to tout his administration’s record on the economy, immigration, and rural America issues. Just before his visit, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann boasted about Trump’s “ground-breaking policies that have brought 5.4 million new jobs, lower taxes and fair trade deals for American farmers and manufacturers.” Union workers in Iowa, however, are wondering just where that robust economy has been in the state. “I’ve got several questions on that statement,” said Jim Chance, president of the UAW Local 893 in Marshalltown. “Where are all those jobs at? And what are those jobs?” […]

Steve Bullock Ties His IRS Fight To Iowa Labor, Women’s Health Laws

Montana Governor Steve Bullock blames the radical changes Iowa’s collective bargain laws have undergone in recent years on the so-called “dark money” that’s being funneled into the state, he said during an interview with Starting Line last week. The Democratic presidential hopeful is fighting back against dark money and foreign money by suing the International Revenue Service over its decision to overturn a decades-old transparency requirement that prevents ultra-wealthy donors and special interest groups from pumping unlimited money into campaigns without disclosure. Bullock explained there’s been a rule in the books since the Richard Nixon administration that requires nonprofit organizations […]