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 […]

McDonald’s Worker That Sanders Marched With Featured In New Ad

A Cedar Rapids McDonald’s worker is featured in a new campaign ad for Bernie Sanders. In it, the senator encourages the fast food chain to set a $15/hour minimum wage and to negotiate with a union. “The fight at McDonald’s is a fight for millions of working-class people who are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages,” Sanders says in the ad. “They are sick and tired of not being able to afford rent, or healthcare, or child care for their children. Today, we say as loudly and clearly as we can to McDonald’s: Pay your workers […]

Sanders Earns New Iowa Union Endorsement

The 1,800-member UFCW Local 230 of Ottumwa has endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders. UFCW Local 230 political director Frank Flanders announced the endorsement during an event in Iowa City on Tuesday evening. “UFCW 230 is taking leadership on behalf of all working Iowans in endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States because we agree that real and positive change only comes from people,” Flanders said at the event. “Meatpacker and agriculture workers across Iowa recognize that only Bernie Sanders has the guts to take on big ag and the powerful meatpacker monopolies that control Iowa’s economy.” Sanders has […]

Axne Puts Forth Bipartisan Legislation to Relieve Rural Hospitals

On Tuesday, Cindy Axne (D-IA) put forth legislation to relieve rural hospitals of supervision restraints that limit the ability of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to provide quality care. Working with Adrian Smith (R-NE), Axne introduced the bipartisan bill to postpone enforcement of oversight rules requiring Medicare hospitals to implement supervision provisions for outpatient therapeutic services. “We need to address staffing shortages in rural areas, but in the meantime, we need to make sure that regulations aren’t overly burdensome for rural hospitals,” Axne said in a statement. Arbitrary Supervision The legislation delays implementation of “direct supervision” – or the requirement that […]

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 […]