Buttigieg’s Labor Plan Will Protect Women, Undocumented Workers

Pete Buttigieg unveiled a plan to end the systematic attack on labor and organized workers during his most recent trip to Iowa. His plan will allow undocumented workers to report labor violations without fear of repercussions, force companies to reveal their gender pay gap numbers and his administration will give contractual preference to companies who treat their workers fairly. “In the last 30 to 40 years, the stagnation of income for the middle class and the decline of union membership have happened basically at the same time. That’s not a coincidence,” Buttigieg told a crowd in Ankeny. “That’s the reason.” […]

Steve Bullock Recalls Stories Of Working As Labor Lawyer

Instead of bedtime stories, Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s children used to fall asleep hearing the stories of the people he was about to represent as a union-side labor lawyer. In an interview with Iowa Starting Line earlier this month, Bullock spoke about his experiences representing organized workers. Bullock specifically mentioned one man who was a landfill operator in Billings, Montana. He was passed over for a job because he couldn’t read well. “For labor arbitration … the lawyer on the other side was just beating him up for the fact he couldn’t read, even though reading had nothing to do […]

Iowa Educators Flee To Union-Strong Minnesota For Better Pay

Kindergarten teacher Kathie Card used to work in Iowa. She still lives here. She has a house in Armstrong, in Emmet County. But now she’s teaching in Fairmont, Minnesota, ever since the Iowa legislature stripped public employees of their right to collectively bargain in 2017. “When things started changing, my district was very small and they kept putting us in pay freezes,” Card said. “Things started changing as far as the bargaining and everything, and my daughter teaches in Fairmont, so I said I think I’m ready for a change.” “That was it in a nutshell,” Card said. Joe Brown, […]

Women Lift Up Women On The Iowa Campaign Trail

Two Democratic presidential campaigns collided in the hallway of the Hilton Garden Inn in Iowa City Thursday night outside of the Women Leaders Rising: 2020 Issue Forum.  Amy Klobuchar had just finished telling the group of over 100 women that she is a union champion and a daughter of the Midwest, while Kirsten Gillibrand was about to deliver some of the most feisty remarks she has made as a presidential candidate. Before Klobuchar left the stage, she told the crowd to tell Gillibrand thank you for making sure the 9/11 health care bill was passed. “I have been a big […]

Gillibrand Blasts Fellow Democrats Over Sexual Assault, Harassment Issues

Several days after a New Yorker story revisited Al Franken’s departure from the Senate, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ripped into the Democratic Party at large in Iowa over its handling of sexual assault and harassment. Gillibrand told a group of women gathered for a week-long conference of female union members in Iowa City Thursday night she’s sick of her fellow Democrats turning a blind eye to sexual assault and sexual harassment. “I’ve got to tell you, I’m really sick of it. I’m so freaking sick of it. I can’t tell you how angry I am that Democrats, Democrats turn a blind […]

Iowa VA Workers Protest Privatization Attempts, Fight For Fair Contracts

Unionized VA workers walked out of the VA Hospital in Des Moines with picket signs Wednesday afternoon to protest the federal government’s attempt to privatize veteran healthcare services and to fight for fair contracts. More than 50 people, including hospital workers, retired workers, members of the Iowa Federation of Labor and presidential campaigns staffers chanted. “What do we want? Fair contracts! When do we want it? Now!” They held signs that said “We’re for workers rights” and “I stand with government workers.” Gregg James, the national vice president for the American Federation of Government Employees, said the picket line in […]

In The Ring: Hickenlooper Bikes, RVs His Way Across Iowa

It would have been easy for former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to drive into Iowa’s largest bicycle ride, RAGBRAI. Tens of thousands of bikers were gathered in Indianola by late Tuesday afternoon, creating the perfect place for a presidential candidate to meet future caucus goers. Hickenlooper didn’t take the easy way out, though. Instead, he rode a borrowed bicycle 12.2 miles from Norwalk to Indianola, even stopping to pour some beers along the way. The Renaissance man has many claims to fame, one of which is his past success as part owner of 20 breweries around the Midwest. So when […]

Yang: $1,000/Month Would Be Game-Changer For Union Strikes

Giving $1,000 to every American citizen over the age of 18 is the key to bolstering unions, Andrew Yang said while answering questions at the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines last evening. “This becomes a built-in strike fund for every worker,” Yang said of his universal basic income plan. “If you’re really getting exploited by your boss, you can say, ‘I don’t need this,’ and then you can actually go home and figure things out without worrying about surviving. This is the kind of game-changer that labor needs because labor has been losing for decades on an epic […]

In Iowa, Democrats Pitch Plans To Get People Working Again

Democrats are doing more on the campaign trail than just bashing President Donald Trump. While national pundits fret over how engaging Trump on racism could mean the party doesn’t talk enough about bread-and-butter issues with voters, Democratic presidential candidates seem to have no problem doing both here. From a proposal to appoint a director of manufacturing to a plan to guarantee two weeks paid vacation to a plan to out-compete China by improving STEM funding, 2020 contenders have pitched plans to get people working again this past week in Iowa. Here’s just a few examples. “I will, within the first […]

Not Gaining Traction? Gillibrand Has been Underestimated Before

When Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tried to win over a Republican held congressional district in Upstate New York her opponent repeatedly ran a commercial that showed a picture of her face covered in flames. In the background, a deep voice would say “she’s not who you think she is.” During that 2006 race, Gillibrand said she was demeaned, dismissed and called names.  But, the quick-witted lawyer took the high road.  She managed to out pace her opponent and easily won in the two-to-one Republican district. “The one mistake my opponent made was the same mistake that President Trump is going to […]