2020 Candidates Pitch Sectoral Collective Bargaining To Bolster Unions

A few 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have proposed creating a sectoral collective bargaining system in the United States, or plan to rewrite the law forcing unions to negotiate solely with their employers. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed “most pro-worker member of the United States Congress,” Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a former labor-side lawyer, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, all have pitched ideas to create a system where workers could bargain industry-wide across the United States. “As President, Bernie will work with the trade union movement to establish a system of sectoral bargaining that will establish a floor of […]

Union Workers Not Forgotten In 2020 Candidates’ Climate Plans

Union workers haven’t been forgotten when it comes to 2020 Presidential candidates’ plans to combat climate change. Good-paying union jobs were included in many of the Democrats’ proposals and discussions during last night’s marathon CNN forums. Elizabeth Warren said one of the reasons she likes the Green New Deal so much is because it not only sets targets on green initiatives to save the planet, it also promises a new deal for people who work. “It’s about justice for people whose communities have been destroyed,” Warren said. “It’s about racial justice on environmental issues and it’s about worker justice.” From […]

In Congress, Finkenauer Works To Undo Iowa GOP’s Actions

Abby Finkenauer took her public service career to Washington, D.C., with her election to Congress in 2018, but she hasn’t forgotten her roots in the Iowa Legislature. Her second term in the Iowa House saw the 2017 and 2018 legislation sessions entirely guided by a Republican agenda, as lawmakers of the opposite party controlled the governor’s office, Senate and House. During that time, Republicans significantly eroded union workers’ rights and job opportunities, including sweeping changes to collective bargaining rights, workers’ compensation and funding for local transportation projects. As a freshman member of the Democrat-controlled U.S. House, Finkenauer has introduced bills […]

Iowans Push To Make September “Union Appreciation Month”

The Polk County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday morning to designate the month of September as “Labor Union Appreciation Month.” “Whereas, hard working men and women across the state of Iowa prove that our community is filled with the most creative, dynamic, and talented workers in the world,” part of the proclamation read. “During this Labor Union Appreciation Month we reaffirm that collective bargaining is a cornerstone of the American dream.” Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, said his organization wanted to help coordinate an effort to designate the month in honor of labor workers to ensure unions got […]

Amy Klobuchar Knows Labor, Courts Union Members In 2020 Bid

A union family helped propel Minnesota senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar from the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth, Minnesota, to Yale University and Chicago Law School. Union members helped make her the Hennepin County Attorney and a United States senator. Now running for president, Klobuchar has made labor issues a central part of her campaign. “I come from a union family,” Klobuchar told Starting Line, at the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Conference in Des Moines. “I stand before you today because of unions,” Klobuchar said to the crowd of union members earlier that day. “I stand before […]

Iowa Labor Union Workers Weigh In On 2020 Primary

Dave Stephen, a carpenter from Cedar Rapids, enjoyed his day off on Monday by attending the Hawkeye Area Labor Council’s Labor Day Picnic at Hawkeye Downs, where five presidential candidates mingled with the crowd. His wife, Margie Stephen, has already retired. She’s a long-time union member and former machinist. Dave hasn’t retired yet, he said while holding a Warren 2020 sign for his wife, because he’s not sure how he and his wife will afford their health care in the future. “I wish I could retire,” Dave said. “But I just can’t.” “We need a whole revolutionary different way of […]

O’Rourke’s Labor, Trade Policies Envision Strong Future For Unions

Workers will be able to join a union if the want to under 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke’s six-point labor plan that he recently released while in Iowa. According to O’Rourke’s 21st Century Labor Contract that he will enact between workers, employers and the federal government, all workers:  Will be able to join a union if that’s what they want;  Will get paid a living wage regardless of industry;  Will need just one job to take care of their family and have time for a fulfilling life outside of work without sacrificing economic security;  Will be hired and paid […]

Key 2020 Quotes And Messages From Major IFL Labor Convention

More than 200 union members showed up to the Iowa Federation of Labor Conference in Des Moines Wednesday to hear from over half the crowded Democratic presidential field. Before any of the candidates took the stage, union leaders welcomed the crowd to the conference and warned the Republican Party is trying to strip unions of their rights. Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa AFL-CIO, said there is a wholesale attack on the working people happening in the United States and it needs to be stopped. “When our membership was around 30 percent, our ability to raise the wages of working […]

One Size Doesn’t Fit All Health Care Needs, Union President Says

Union workers who have spent decades bargaining for their health care plans might see all that negotiating go out the window under several Democratic proposals being discussed in the presidential race. Several candidates are backing versions of Medicare for All that would eliminate most private health care options. Members of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council have been putting portions of their paychecks into their group health and welfare fund for years. “If we negotiate a dollar an hour raise for our guys and our health and welfare fund doesn’t meet the dime or 20 cents that year, […]

Largest Labor Cattle Call In the Nation Coming To Des Moines

The AFL-CIO in Des Moines has scheduled at least 21 Democratic presidential candidates will speak at the largest labor cattle call in the nation Aug. 21 at Prairie Meadows. The event is open to union members and the media, though not the general public. Charlie Wishman, secretary and treasurer of the Iowa Federation of Labor, said the candidates will each have 10 minutes to speak.  This is the best chance for presidential candidates to address union leadership in the state, many of whom have pull at the national level, he said. “They are the decision makers,” Wishman said, of Iowa’s […]