We should all be thankful for labor unions’ successes

Today and continuing through this weekend, families and friends will gather to spend time together and remember everything we have to be grateful for. We should be especially mindful of our good fortune, and remember those who have helped provide for us as a community.

Even as too many are out of work, underemployed or working for low wages, we have a lot to be thankful for. Unfortunately, the result of the midterm elections will mean fewer prominent voices speaking out for working families, but one constant will remain: the voice of labor unions.

Now more than ever, we should be thankful to labor unions and their members for standing up for the middle class.

Unions make the middle class strong by ensuring workers have a voice at work and in our democracy. Unions work on behalf of their members, who make up the fabric of our communities. Union members teach our children, they fight fires and police our streets. Union members are nurses, caring for us when we’re sick. Union members are government employees, sanitation workers, food and water quality inspectors, plumbers, carpenters and telecommunication workers. Union members keep our neighborhoods safe and communities strong, often doing jobs that we take for granted

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Raise the Wage Iowa – RAYGUN in Des Moines

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We were at RAYGUNshirts today, supporting a raise in the minimum wage! If you know a small business that supports raising the minimum wage, nominate them here and we’ll encourage shoppers to support them this holiday season: http://bitly.com/raisethewagewednesday     … Continue reading

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‘Raise the Wage Wednesday’ launches, encouraging shoppers to support local businesses who favor raising the minimum wage

Shoppers, business owners encouraged to submit suggestions for shopping list at RaisetheWageIowa.com   Des Moines, IA — A statewide coalition of small businesses, community leaders, labor and faith organizations will launch ‘Raise the Wage Wednesday’ to encourage Iowans to do … Continue reading

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Veridian, UAW serve more than 900 at Mike and Leona Adams Thanksgiving Dinner

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  WATERLOO, IA (November 25, 2014) – Veridian Credit Union joined United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 838 to host the Annual Mike and Leona Adams Thanksgiving Dinner on Monday, November 24. Volunteers prepared a feast at the UAW Local 838 Union Hall for … Continue reading

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An invitation for disaster

It’s one thing for Iowans to tolerate the secret money provocateurs whose barrage of attacks demeans our elections, caucuses and voters.

It’s another thing to warmly invite them to the state.

Rep. Steve King is partnering with Citizens United – yes, that Citizens United — whose Supreme Court case opened the floodgates of secret money determining — not just influencing — Iowa’s elections. Need proof? More than $40 million was spent in advertising for the recent Iowa Senate election. Outside special interest groups provided more than 80 percent of that.

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on OUR Walmart Black Friday Protests

November 25, 2014 www.BlackFridayProtests.org   As the Walton family indulges in their own Thanksgiving meal, many Walmart workers who help keep them rich can’t afford food for their families. On Black Friday, the entire labor movement will proudly stand with … Continue reading

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DICK FALLOW ENDOWMENT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST ANNUAL GRANT TO THE CENTER FOR WORKER JUSTICE OF EASTERN IOWA

DAVENPORT, Iowa (November 24, 2014) – The Dick Fallow Endowment for Social Justice has announced that its first year grant award will go to the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa. The grant will be used to expand CWJ’s Jobs … Continue reading

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Iowa offers 1 percent pay increases to union workers

DES MOINES — State negotiators offered a 1 percent across-the-board pay raise for each of the next two fiscal years Monday to members of two employees unions that are seeking higher compensation levels under new contracts that would take effect next July 1.

Janet Phipps, director of the state Department of Administrative Services who is leading the state negotiating team, said the state is offering a fair proposal to its union workers in the latest round of talks on a two-year collective bargaining agreement given the current financial realities heading into a new biennial budgeting cycle.

“We have a tight budget overall as far as state government is concerned, but I wouldn’t offer anything that the state couldn’t afford,” Phipps told reporters after presenting a counter-proposal to members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, Council 61 that included some requested benefit concessions.

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A Special Documentary Presentation: PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy’s High Stakes  

“PAY 2 PLAY lays out a compelling case against corporate personhood and money as free speech…Researched, sourced and interviewed exhaustively.” — LA Times   DOCUMENTARY FILM Tuesday, December 2nd 7:00pm Plymouth Congregational Church – Recital Hall 4126 Ingersoll Ave Des Moines, … Continue reading

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Des Moines / Henry County Labor Council Endorses Kevin Long For Burlington City Council

At the November Labor Council meeting held last night, the delegates endorsed Kevin Long as the Labor Council’s candidate for the Burlington City Council Primary Election on December 2nd!!   The Des Moines / Henry County Labor Council endorses candidates … Continue reading

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka  on the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision


November 24, 2014

The reactions to today’s grand jury decision in the case of the shooting of unarmed teenager Mike Brown reflect a deeper feeling that our justice system is biased against communities of color.  While we can all agree that justice must take its course, we cannot deny or marginalize the perception that the system, itself, is not yet color blind.  As a labor movement, we have begun working with local community organizations to address issues of racial and economic inequality that surround Ferguson and so many other neighborhoods like it.  We will continue that work.  We are dedicated to supporting organizing efforts that reinforce unity, healing, and fairness in policing.

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Save Delivery

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Imagine if you will – it’s your granddaughter’s birthday tomorrow. Every year you send her a card even though she is just 20 miles away. Every year for the past 10, you have sent her a card the day before … Continue reading

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Labor History

November 26 Six young women burn to death and 19 more die when they leap from the fourth-story windows of a blazing factory in Newark, N.J. The floors and stairs were wooden; the only door from which the women could … Continue reading

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USW Charges Honeywell with Illegally Locking Out its Workers

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    Nov. 10, 2014   Metropolis, Ill. – The United Steelworkers (USW) and USW Local 7-669 filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Nov. 10, 2014 concerning Honeywell Corp.’s lockout of its union … Continue reading

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Executive orders have key place in history

Presidential executive orders are hardly the way to change laws and build consensus, or goodwill, with the legislative branch or allow states a say in policy through their elected leaders. They’re unilateral directives to federal agencies to enforce measures never voted into law. But in the face of congressional inaction, or outright defiance of the president, executive orders can be a courageous way to protect people’s rights.

President Lincoln used one in 1862 with the Emancipation Proclamation. Harry Truman used one to integrate the armed forces. Dwight Eisenhower used it to desegregate schools, and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson used them to prevent racial discrimination in federal housing. President Reagan used an executive order to block federal funds from abortion advocacy, and President Clinton used one to reverse Reagan’s order.

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Worker recieves final paycheck after 15 months

After 15 months and assistance from the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, Kossiwa Agbenowassi has finally received her final paycheck of more than $2,300 from Outback Steakhouse.

Agbenowassi was given a chance to tell her story Friday at the Center for Worker Justice with the assistance of translator Thomas Kodjovi, who along with Agbenowassi is from West Africa.

Agbenowassi originally was hired by Sandpiper Maintenance and Repair, which served as a cleaning contractor for Outback. She worked seven days a week at the Coralville restaurant spending the majority of her time working alone cleaning the dining room and kitchen.

Because she was hired by a contractor instead of Outback directly she received a wage of $1,300 per month, which was the equivalent of $6.12 an hour, said Misty Rebik, the executive director of the Center for Worker Justice.

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Pay to Play movie screening

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December 02, 2014 at  7:00 PM in Des Moines , IA at Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll. This is the event rescheduled from November 12th. This late fall and winter activists across the country will gather in living rooms, theaters … Continue reading

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Iowa JobWatch: Job Drop in October

Job Deficit in Recovery Stands at 46,000 IOWA CITY, Iowa (Nov. 21, 2014) — Iowa nonfarm jobs dipped slightly in October but remained ahead of last year as the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent to 4.5 percent. The Iowa … Continue reading

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Lee County Stewards School

Buddy HowardLee County Labor Council

Thanks to all who attended Stewards class Saturday. Thanks to Robin Clark-Bennett for making it interesting. Thanks to Iowa Fed for sponsoring, Fraternal Council for splitting food with LCLC. Chintz’s for a nice meal. Thanks to Representative Jerry Kearns for sharing some of his thoughts.lee stew 1 lee stew 2 lee stew 3 lee stew 4

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Helping Hands at Lee County Labor Council

At the Keokuk Labor Temple through Dec. 18 there is an opportunity to join our fight against corporate greed and union busting. Take a hand off of the tree and sign your name or the name of your local or organization on it. Take it in the lounge with the dollar amount written on it. Money will be sent to our sisters and brothers of USW 7-669 in Metropolis IL locked out by Honeywell and their scumbag CEO David Cote. Let’s help them have a little better Christmas while remembering it’s our fight too.helping hands 2014

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