ARA Report

Don’t Forget: Tuesday is Election Day! Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day, and seniors in every state will be affected by the results. If right-wing extremists take over both houses of Congress, then Social Security and Medicare will be direct … Continue reading

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9 Iowa values that Joni Ernst opposes

This column is a follow-up to two columns last week that endorsed Joni Ernst.

Joni Ernst claims she will bring “Iowa values” to Washington. This sounds nice in a sound bite, but how do Ernst’s actual positions live up to Hawkeye State commitments?

1. Rewarding hard work

Iowans don’t want handouts; they believe in working for a living. That’s why they believe in a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. Joni Ernst has stated that she does not support a federal minimum wage, calling the idea “ridiculous,” and opposing a raise in the minimum wage supported by a vast majority of Americans.

2. Honoring your elders

Iowans follow the Fifth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother. They believe our elders, after a lifetime of work, deserve a decent living standard. Ernst has said she wants to transition workers onto individual savings accounts and is open to privatizing Social Security, an objective eagerly desired by Wall Street bankers.


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Ernst’s Obama criticism at odds with military law

I am a Vietnam War veteran who was a military policeman in DaNang in 1970-71. In early 1972, our president tried to quell inflation by implementing a temporary wage and price freeze over the nation that affected the military. There was great grumbling by the men and women in the military because their cost of living increase was withheld.

Our commanding officer told us, “Nobody in the military is allowed to publicly say anything negative or contemptuous about our commander in chief.” They told us that we would be prosecuted if we did.

Numerous veterans I have talked to are troubled by the behavior of U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who is actively in the Iowa National Guard and the U.S. military. Although she is running for a civilian office, she has emphasized her current role as a lieutenant colonel and serving in Iraq. The expectations of her are different from what would be expected from someone else who has retired from the military.


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Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council helps get out the vote

The Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council has been going around various work sites in Iowa, providing a free lunch and some political information.

The Trades bought a trailer and converted it into a food cart they take around the state. Officers of the Trades have been serving food to workers at various sites.

On October 28th the food trailer was set up at Wells Fargo in West Des Moines, where they served chili and handed out labor endorsed literature.IMG_7484

Click here for more pictures

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One Year Later: A Vote for Steve King or Joni Ernst is a Vote for Another Government Shutdown

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Des Moines, Iowa – One year ago, Congressman Steve King and members of the Republican Party shut down the federal government at an enormous cost. Their actions roiled the country as federal workers were furloughed, national parks were closed, and … Continue reading

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Dear Ms. Ernst,

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  You recently said that a federal minimum wage was “ridiculous.” A policy that protects tens of millions of American workers and whose erosion due to Congressional passivity has left 200,000+ Iowans making less today, adjusted for inflation, than low­wage … Continue reading

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Labor History

October 31 George Henry Evans publishes the first issue of the Working Man’s Advocate, “edited by a Mechanic” for the “useful and industrious classes” in New York City. He focused on the inequities between the “portion of society living in … Continue reading

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Grassley and Harkin Call on Postal Service to Ensure All Absentee Ballots are Counted

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) today called on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to make all possible effort to ensure that Iowa absentee ballots are counted. Specifically, the senators issued a letter to … Continue reading

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You Still Have Time to Influence the Outcome of the 2014 Election

You Still Have Time to Influence the Outcome of the 2014 Election

OK, so you’ve researched the candidates and figured out which ones are the best for working families. And you’ve either voted early or made a plan to vote. But you just don’t feel like you’ve done enough to make sure that Tuesday’s election doesn’t turn into a nightmare scenario where Republicans shut down the government or take away workers’ rights. What can you do?

Luckily, you still can make a big difference this election. It’s as easy as picking up the phone and making sure as many of your friends and neighbors show up to vote as possible. Nothing gets people to the polls like a reminder from someone they know that the election is important, and making calls is easy with our Friends and Neighbors tool.

Start making calls now and help make sure that election night is a good night for working families!

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‘Meet Labor’s Endorsed Candidates’ moved

‘Meet Labor’s Endorsed Candidates’ moved

 The Dubuque Federation of Labor’s “Meet Labor’s Endorsed Candidates” event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today will be held at the Labor Temple, 1610 Garfield Ave. Due to a scheduling conflict at the UAW hall, the event has been moved.

Candidates endorsed by the federation have been invited to attend, including Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, 1st District Congressional candidate; Abby Finkenauer, Iowa House District 99 candidate; Rep. Chuck Isenhart, D-Dubuque, House District 100; Rep. Nancy Dunkel, D-Dyersville, House District 57; Sen. Tod Bowman, D-Maquoketa, Senate District 29; Donna Smith and Tom Hancock, Dubuque County supervisor candidates; and John Murphy, Dubuque County recorder cand

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First Lady Michelle Obama is fired up and wants to see you this Saturday!

As Election Day is rapidly approaching, we need your help in making sure folks get to the polls!

Details below:

For entry, tickets must be picked up in advance. Tickets will be available for pick-up between 9am and 9pm Thursday

and Friday at the following locations:

Democratic Party of Illinois Field Office
1852 16th St
Moline, IL 61265


Laborer’s Local 309
2835 7th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201

We look forward to seeing you there!

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AFL-CIO Denounces Wayne Williams Unfounded Attacks on Colorado Election Laws

(Washington, DC, October, 30, 2014) – During a Tuesday night interview on Fox News, Wayne Williams, the County Clerk for Colorado’s El Paso County and GOP candidate for Secretary of State, attempted to discredit new Colorado voting laws that led … Continue reading

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Harkin: Braley would continue Iowa’s balance in Senate

This column is a followup to two columns last week that endorsed Joni Ernst in the U.S. Senate race.

I want to thank you, my fellow Iowans, for the honor of representing you in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. I’ve worked hard over the years to be a voice for those who are too often overlooked in Washington: working families, people with disabilities, students and the elderly.

That the son of a coal miner father and a Slovenian immigrant mother from Cumming, Ia., could grow up to be a U.S. senator is a testament to the power of the American dream.

Unfortunately, these days that dream is often overlooked in Washington, where Congress too often looks out for the interests of the wealthy and the powerful instead of the working people.

What Iowans deserve in their next U.S. senator is someone who will stand up for an economy that works for everyone — not just millionaires, billionaires and big corporations.

That’s why Iowans should elect Bruce Braley to take my place.program 1-48


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Union members turning out the vote to protect important issues


Des Moines – Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, announced today that their program, which began in August, is well on track to complete over hundreds of volunteer shifts and reached over tens of thousands of voters before election day.


“This election is very important to our members. We are running a great program and our brothers and sisters knocking on doors all over Iowa, are making the difference,” said Sagar. “Iowa is a very important state and we are doing everything we can to get our labor endorsed candidates elected.”



“Our staff and volunteers are walking neighborhoods and talking to voters one-on-one about our issues,” said Charlie Wishman Secretary/Treasurer of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO. “We care about all Iowa working families and we are working hard to encourage union members to exercise their right to vote. ”


Iowa AFL-CIO volunteers across the state say that most people they talk with know how important this election is for Iowa’s working families.

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Help for victims of domestic violence

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 09:43 AM PDT

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and break down stereotypes about domestic violence.

Domestic violence knows no cultural or economic barriers. According to the Iowa Attorney General’s office, each year more than 24,000 victims of domestic violence in Iowa get help. To meet the need, the Legislature approved an additional $4 million in 2013 to enhance services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Attorney General’s Victim Services Support Program staff recently told legislators how those dollars are being spent. More than 100 additional advocates have been hired to help survivors throughout the state. Halfway through fiscal year 2014, 42 percent more survivors of domestic violence were served.

For further information on domestic violence and programs to help victims, go to

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2 years after the Korea trade agreement, Braley’s no vote proves wise

During the first two years of the U.S.-Korea “free trade” agreement, the United States’ agricultural exports to Korea fell, Korean imports of automobiles soared and the trade deficit exploded 50 percent. Using the official U.S. government export-to-job ratio, the huge increase in the trade deficit since the Korea deal went into effect represents the loss of more than 50,000 U.S. jobs.

Some Iowans might be surprised to learn that the agreement is a job-killing flop given that state Republicans have attacked Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley for voting against it. Every Iowa congressional Democrat joined Braley in voting no.

But, the real question is why did every Republican in the state’s congressional delegation support it?


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Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class:

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The Cost of Living in Iowa Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class: The Role of Work Supports Make a few cents more per hour, or add hours or a second job, and you might just find you have fewer resources … Continue reading

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Want to do your part in getting friends and family out to vote for pro-working family candidates this November?

Want to do your part in getting friends and family out to vote for pro-working family candidates this November? Sign up for the Workers’ Voice Friends and Neighbors (FAN) online social phone bank tool that just launched in Iowa.


The tool allows activists to match their Facebook friends to the publicly available voter file and begin contacting their targeted friends via phone banks, print mail, e-mail and Facebook, in support of the Labor 2014 program.


If you want to help our, you can either text IOWA to 235246 or IA to 235246.

Please share this in your networks if you would.  Thanks for your support of our efforts to elect working family friendly candidates.

Thanks for all you do.


Ken Sagar
Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
2000 Walker Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
515-508-9916 cell

Or – to subscribe to our online newspaper, IOWA DAILY LABOR NEWS:
“Like” us on Facebook:
Iowa Federation of Labor YouTube Channel:
Find us on the Web:
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Labor History

Ed Meese, attorney general in the Ronald Reagan administration, urges employers to begin spying on workers “in locker rooms, parking lots, shipping and mail room areas and even the nearby taverns” to try to catch them using drugs – 1986

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New FEC Complaint Calls Out Widespread Illegal Coordination By Republican Groups

The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a supplemental complaint with the FEC against numerous Republican political campaigns and state parties, in addition to Data Trust, the RNC, American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, and i360, alleging … Continue reading

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