Walking in the Shoes of Poverty

homeless (1)“Poverty is a state of mind.” ” Poverty is the source of our crime problem.” “Poverty is the result of laziness.” “Poverty is a blemish on the face of America.” “Poverty is a problem that only government can solve.”

Poverty has been a part of American life ever since the nation was founded and will be a part of our economic life for decades to come. President Lyndon Johnson initiated the War on Poverty in 1964 and expanded the role of the Federal government in an effort to roll back the impact of poverty on Americans. But, the recent recession and growing income gap in the United States reveal how intractable the problem may be.

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Informational Picket

usw2Our brothers and sisters of USW 11-00436 need our help.

On June 24th 4-6pm the members of USW 11-00436 will hold an informational picket at Kapstone 1601 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.

Parking will be at the NW corner at Wehrenberg Theaters on 5340 Council St NE, Cedar Rapids. We will assemble there. USW will provide cold water and there will be an awning placed on the right-of-way between Kapstone and Gentle Dental.

Join us on June 24th to ask Kapstone to negotiate in good faith and show them we care about our fellow workers and will stand with them throughout what appears to be a hard negotiation.

This will be a peaceful informational picket to raise community awareness.

Rick Moyle Executive Director Hawkeye Labor Council AFL-CIO 1211 Wiley Boulevard SW

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404 (319)396-8461 rmoyle@hawkeyelabor.us

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AFL-CIO Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

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AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President (Washington, DC, June 16, 2016) – The General Board of the 12.5 million member AFL-CIO voted today to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. The endorsement reflects a comprehensive, … Continue reading

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David Johnson On How His Switch Could Shake Up The Iowa Senate

iowa cap at nightWhen Iowa State Senator David Johnson left the Republican Party last week over issues with Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the news quickly went national and international. But while Johnson’s act of registering as an independent generated tough stories for Donald Trump and Republicans, the longer-lasting impact will be felt at the Iowa Statehouse in this election and the next legislative session.

The Iowa Senate was split 26 Democrats to 24 Republicans. With Johnson’s departure, it would stand as 23 Republicans and one Independent. Republicans have badly wanted to take back the Iowa Senate for multiple cycles, but continually come up just short.

In a lengthy interview with Starting Line, Johnson seemed intent on staying an Independent if Trump becomes the nominee at the convention. He realizes what that means for control of the Senate.

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Labor History

June 17 Twenty-one young women and girls making cartridges for the Union Army at the Washington, D.C. arsenal during the Civil War are killed in an accidental explosion. Most of the victims were Irish immigrants. A monument was erected in … Continue reading

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Today’s labor quote:

Gene Debs
“The working class who make the sacrifices, who shed the blood, have never yet had a voice in declaring war. The ruling class has always made the war and made the peace.”

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The real voter ID agenda

trumka unionExtremists in the Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature recently voted to add a new constitutional amendment option to the ballot this November. If it passes, the amendment would make it easier for the Legislature to pass laws requiring voters to produce photo identification at the polls.

Voter ID and similar disenfranchisement bills have nothing to do with protecting the integrity of the ballot. Instead, they are a blatant, cynical attempt to rig elections in favor of one political party.

Voter fraud in the United States is virtually nonexistent. An individual is more likely to be struck by lightning than impersonate a voter at the polls. It’s common sense. Who in their right mind would be willing to risk a hefty fine or jail time in exchange for one vote?

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Ryan Drew To Run In Sands’ Open HD 88 As Democratic Candidate – Iowa Starting Line

Ryan-Drew-350x245Democrats have recruited an impressive candidate for the now-open House District 88: Ryan Drew, an operating engineers leader from Burlington. Longtime incumbent Tom Sands surprised many last week when he decided to withdraw his name from the ballot two days after the primary. Within hours, Republican Jason Delzell announced he was running.

Both Delzell and Drew will have to be nominated at a special convention of their local parties, likely to be held in August. So far, no other names have emerged.

Starting Line included Ryan Drew in our list last year of “15 Loyal Democrats You Want On Your Side In The Iowa Caucus.” Here’s what we wrote of him then:

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SAVE THE DATE: 2016 Midwest School for Women Workers

midwest school for women workersMark your calendars and help spread the word!

Host: Indiana University Labor Studies

Dates: Sunday, July 24 through Thursday, July 28, 2016

Location: Indiana University New Albany Campus

Stay tuned for more information.

In the meantime, if you have questions or recommendations, please email info@midwestwomenworkers.org..

The Midwest School for Women Workers brings working women together to develop leadership skills, understand the challenges and issues facing the labor movement, and learn from one another. Held annually since 1976, the school equips women to be more active and effective union and workplace leaders and to build solidarity among women workers.

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Labor History

June 16
Eight local unions organize the Int’l Fur Workers Union of U.S. and Canada. The union later merged with the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen – 1913

Railroad union leader and socialist Eugene V. Debs speaks in Canton, Ohio, on the relation between capitalism and war. Ten days later he is arrested under the Espionage Act, eventually sentenced to 10 years in jail – 1918

The National Industrial Recovery Act became law, but was later to be declared unconstitutional. It established the right to unionize, set maximum hours and minimum wages for every major industry, abolished sweatshops and child labor. The Wagner Act, in effect today, was approved two years later to legalize unionization – 1933

Inacom Corp., once the world’s largest computer dealer, sends most of its 5,100 employees an email instructing them to call a toll-free phone number; when they call, a recorded message announces they have been fired – 2000

Union Communication Services

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Flag Day

flag day 2016

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Postal Banking – An Idea whose time has come (again)

The USPS Office of Inspector General sparked quite a controversy when it published a white paper in January 2014 that endorsed a concept postal unions have quietly supported for years: The Postal Service should provide basic financial services to the 68 … Continue reading

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Statement of AFL-CIO Leadership on Orlando Massacre

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(Washington, DC, June 13, 2016) – Today AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre released the following statement in response to the murder of 49 people at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando.   … Continue reading

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Strengthening the State of Women

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In 2016, women are rising to the top in every field and industry, and breaking down boundaries that held former generations back. There is no denying progress has been made, but being a working woman still comes with enormous challenges. … Continue reading

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Labor History

June 15
The Metal Trades Department of what is now the AFL-CIO is founded – 1908

The Congress of Industrial Organizations expels the Fur and Leather Workers union and the American Communications Association for what it describes as communist activities – 1947

Battle of Century City, as police in Los Angeles attack some 500 janitors and their supporters during a peaceful Service Employees Int’l Union demonstration against cleaning contractor ISS. The event generated public outrage that resulted in recognition of the workers’ union and spurred the creation of an annual June 15 Justice for Janitors Day – 1990

Union Communication Services

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Free America – John Legend and AFL-CIO

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AFL-CIO Union Summer Celebrates 20 Years of Organizing, Heads to the South

union summer 2016(Washington, DC, June 13, 2016) – Today the AFL-CIO’s annual Union Summer program kicks off in Jackson, Miss., marking the 20th anniversary of the one-of-a-kind internship program that places young activists on various organizing campaigns.

Juan Carlos Pulido, a California native and senior at California State University said that the primary reason why he’s participating is to learn valuable skills to effect change in his community. “There are a lot of challenges working people face—from questionable working conditions to disrespectful management—and I think there is a lot of room for growth because too many people don’t know their rights,” he added.

Maya Simpson, a student a Jackson State University said, “I’ve witnessed my mom’s struggle firsthand and I want to be a part of the solution. I want to be able to help make working people’s lives better.”

The cohort of 39 Summeristas, students from 25 different colleges and universities, will be spread across five major cities in the South, including Atlanta, Ga., Anniston, Ala., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Jackson, Miss. and Houston, Texas. The interns are currently participating in a week-long intensive training before heading to their respective campaigns. For nine weeks Summeristas will work to organize state employees, food service employees, workers at auto manufacturing plants and teachers.

Union Summer internships are designed to introduce young activists to the labor movement through union organizing campaigns that help working people gain a voice at work and in their communities.

For more information on union summer, click here.

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We are issuing an all-call to any of our members who are residents of City of Muscatine to attend an upcoming City Council meeting in Muscatine.

muscatineDear Quad City Leaders:

We are issuing an all-call to any of our members who are residents of City of Muscatine to attend an upcoming City Council meeting in Muscatine.
As some of you know, we endorsed a great candidate for Mayor last year, Diana Broderson, who comes from a union household (LIUNA AND IUOE). She won the race handily, garnering almost 54% of the vote.
But since assuming office, Mayor Broderson has been met with obstructionism from the city council on almost all of her policy ideas and the relationship from the city manager has been hostile from day one.
The Mayor of Muscatine already had very limited powers. But she did retain the right to make appointments to commissions and appoint the city and fire chief, with council approval. Her first attempts to do so, however, have almost all been blocked, with city council members accusing her of only appointing union members or Democrats (not true).
In April, the City Council took first steps to strip the mayor of the remaining powers to make appointments.
We need all of our leaders to contact their members in Muscatine, and get them to attend the city council meeting on Thursday, June 23rd at 7PM at City Hall: 215 Sycamore Street, Muscatine where they will discuss and vote on this outrageous code change.
Please call me if you have questions or ideas for getting the word out on this important upcoming city council meeting.

Tracy Leone: 309-738-3196
Organizer – Iowa Federation of Labor
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Labor History

June 13
Congress creates a Bureau of Labor, under the Interior Department.  It later became independent as a Department of Labor without executive status in the Department of Commerce and Labor; in 1913 it became the Department of Labor we know today – 1884

Tony Mazzocchi born in Brooklyn, N.Y. An activist and officer in the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union, he was a mentor to Karen Silkwood; a founder of the Labor Party, and a prime mover behind the 1970 passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act – 1926

June 14
Unions legalized in Canada – 1872

The first commercial computer, UNIVAC I, is installed at the U.S. Census Bureau – 1951

Union Communication Services

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Iowa Democrats launch website tracking Grassley’s judicial inaction

has grassley done his jobDES MOINES, Iowa — Democrats have stepped up their assault on Sen. Charles Grassley, clearly sensing that his unprecedented refusal to even hold hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court isn’t sitting well with voters.

The assault is timed to counter a recent commercial Grassley is airing claiming “Grassley Works” and bragging about his high attendance level for Senate votes.

“Just because Grassley is showing up does not mean he is doing his job,” the Democrats said in a statement. “Judge Merrick Garland has a solid reputation as a moderate, but it is clear that Grassley would rather have extremist Donald Trump appoint the next Supreme Court justice.”

The Democrats created a new Web site featuring a ticking clock that measures the length of time that Grassley refuses to hold a hearing on Garland.

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