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March 13 The term “rat,” referring to a worker who betrays fellow workers, first appears in print in the New York Daily Sentinel. The newspaper was quoting a typesetter while reporting on replacement workers who had agreed to work for two-thirds … Continue reading
The Food Bank of Siouxland is happy to announce the outstanding results of the Tenth Annual “Empty Bowls,” the Food Bank’s signature fundraiser, held on February 7, 2014 at the Marina Inn Conference Center. ”We’re so very pleased by the … Continue reading
WASHINGTON – The number of people who have lost their unemployment benefits as a result of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program’s expiration has surpassed two million this week, according to a new analysis from Ways and Means Committee Democrats. The estimate includes the number of people in each state who have lost coverage since the program’s Dec. 28 expiration. Every week, 72,000 people, on average, are losing their unemployment benefits nationwide without an extension of the program. House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend the program on the House floor. Last month a measure to extend the program came one vote short of the 60 votes necessary to move forward legislation in the Senate.
“A financial crisis is confronting more and more families every day that Republicans fail to support an extension of this vital program,” said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). “One Republican vote in the Senate is all that stands in the way of two million people and their families coming one critical step closer to seeing their financial lifeline restored as they look for work.”
This report shows that 11,300 Iowans have lost their unemployment benefits. “We hope that the Senate will take this important issue up again in the next few weeks,” said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor. “We cannot afford to leave working families behind. Unemployment benefits are the difference between total hopelessness and a place to live and food on the table.”
Chris Thompson, 28, of Lowden, and Ryan Edwards, 31, of Cedar Rapids, spent part of Thursday afternoon testing flow rates on a pump typical in a waste water treatment plant as part of a hands-on lab at the electrical apprenticeship training center in Cedar Rapids.
They both had some college experience, some work experience and are both now in their third of five years of the Cedar Rapids Electrical Apprenticeship program. They earned a paycheck and benefits from day one, will make $60,000 a year by the time they graduate, and they won’t have any debt.
“A lot of people come out of college and there’s not a lot of job opportunities,” said Thompson, who accumulated $28,000 in student debt from one year of private college and later realized he didn’t want to work in an office. “This offers a good career, a lot of opportunities and financial stability.”
Tuesday March 11th
Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans will be hosting a Candidate Open House for the offices of the Illinois 71st House District and the Rock Island County Clerk.
Western Illinois University – Quad Cities Room 111
3300 River Drive Moline, IL 61265
March 12 Greedy industrialist turned benevolent philanthropist Andrew Carnegie pledges $5.2 million for the construction of 65 branch libraries in New York City—barely 1 percent of his net worth at the time. He established more than 2,500 libraries between 1900 … Continue reading
WHAT IS GOING ON? The administration of Colfax-Mingo Schools announced a proposal in February to outsource custodial services. This was done with almost no community input. Fortunately, the school board delayed taking action. They will consider the proposal at their … Continue reading
As president of the Quad City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO I am proud to say that our organization endorses the March 18th referendum concerning the 1 percent sales tax increase for Rock Island County’s schools.
Voters will have a very clear choice: we either want what is best for our students, our kids, our future, or we don’t. We should all want safer schools, more energy efficient schools, more modernized schools that keep our kids safe, save tax payer dollars on energy bills, and attract the best and brightest from in state and out of state. We can have all of this by voting Yes on March 18th
A thistle to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz for his failure to recognize that as Iowa’s top election official he should be focused on enabling Iowans to vote and on helping them do it legally. Instead, Schultz is fixated on the supposedly big issue of “voter fraud” in Iowa. He has focused his energies, and taxpayers’ money, on what is essentially a microscopic problem.
It’s Friday afternoon so you stop by your workplace and pick up your paycheck. You go to the credit union, deposit it, check your balance, transfer some money to another account and then withdraw some cash. A few days later you discover you’ve lost your ATM card. The credit union sends you a new one. Each month you receive a paper statement in the mail with details about your account transactions.
None of this costs you a penny. The same routine business is likely much more expensive for a retail or restaurant worker who agreed the first day on the job to be paid on a so-called “payroll card.” Wages are deposited onto these increasingly prevalent debit cards, which are provided by employers and administered by third-party entities.
Calling a “live agent” to ask a question about your account may cost $2. Some Iowans are charged $3 a month if their accounts are “inactive,” another $3 to receive a paper statement and an additional fee if they want to treat the payroll card like a real bank account and give a spouse access to it. The cost to quickly replace a lost payroll card can be as high as $19, according to documents shared by Iowa workers with The Des Moines Register editorial board.
A wide majority of Iowans believe it’s more important to ensure ballot access for eligible voters than to guard against voting by those who are ineligible.
That result, captured in The Des Moines Register’s latest Iowa Poll, casts new light on a debate that has been raging in the state and across the nation for years over the appropriate balance between ballot access and security.
Seventy-one percent of poll respondents say it’s more important that every eligible, registered voter is able to vote, compared with 25 percent who say it’s more important that no ineligible person “slips through the cracks” to cast a vote
It’s difficult to imagine that hundreds of workers in Iowa each year do not get paid their promised wage and often find they have little recourse to fight back, but that’s what civil rights groups and Democrats in the Iowa Legislature say continues to happen.
Democrats have tried for several years to help solve what they see as a serious and growing problem, but Republicans stand firm in the belief the issue is overblown.
Wage theft can include underpayment of wages, theft of tips, unlawful deductions from paychecks, and misclassification of workers as independent contractors or managers to avoid paying overtime or minimum wages.
Among Democrats at the Polk County party convention Saturday, there was laser focus on voters.
“We have a tough road ahead of us in 2014,” U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running for the Senate, told delegates gathered at lunch tables in an atrium at Lincoln High School in Des Moines.
Braley began his day of convention appearances in Polk County, which he referred to as “the mothership of Iowa Democrats.”
“There is no presidential election this cycle,” he said. “There will be no 62 Obama field offices scattered around the state of Iowa.”
Republicans, he said, have the advantage in a non-presidential year, when voters tend to be older and more conservative. Whichever of the six declared GOP candidates Republicans choose to run against Braley, “they are going to be well-funded,” he said.
March 10 U.S. Supreme Court upholds espionage conviction of labor leader and socialist Eugene V. Debs. Debs was jailed for speaking out against World War I. Campaigning for president from his Atlanta jail cell, he won 6 percent of the … Continue reading
Reality Contradicts Common Arguments Used to Sell New Tax Cuts — online: http://www.iowafiscal.org/iowa-where-business-taxes-are-low/ — PDF: www.iowafiscal.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/140305-IFP-corptax-bgd.pdf Excerpt: In Iowa, we constantly hear the same old argument that business taxes aren’t competitive. It’s an argument that was used to enact large … Continue reading
The Labor Center is accepting applications for graduate research assistants for the 2014-2015 academic year. Openings include a position funded by the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Eligible applicants for the IFL-funded position must be enrolled in a graduate or a professional degree program at The University of Iowa and be either a member or the son/daughter of a member of an AFL-CIO affiliated union in Iowa. Application deadline is March 28 (or until filled). Click here for information about the IFL-funded position and here for the other position.
Dubuque Workers’ Academy (6-week series) January-March, 6:30-8:30 pm, Labor Temple, 1610 Garfield Avenue, Dubuque Session 6: Public Services, Public Good? Healthcare – Monday, March 10 Session 6 will focus on the question, “Should health care be a human right, or … Continue reading
House Budget Committee Chair Ryan Misrepresents Economists in Poverty Report The House Budget Committee released a report, The War on Poverty: Fifty Years Later, on Monday, and the findings left several economists and social scientists bemused and angry, according to The Fiscal … Continue reading
By MITCHELL SCHMIDT
of the Iowa City Press-Citizen
The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint and notice of hearing, claiming multiple charges of unfair labor practices filed by the Communications Workers of America against North Liberty’s South Slope Telecommunications Cooperative.
The complaint alleges that South Slope has violated the National Labor Relations Act by:
• Threatening employees with the loss of significant benefits, including their health insurance and pension plan.
By Senator Tom Harkin If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve the opportunity to enjoy your golden years with dignity and financial independence. That is the American Dream. But after countless conversations with Iowans worried about … Continue reading