Vilsacks at reception of Hatch/Vernon


 Tomorrow at 6 PM-7 PM, Tom and Christie Vilsack will be attending a reception in support of the Hatch/Vernon campaign. 

 Jack wanted me to invite you to attend free of charge.

 The event will be held at the Wakonda Club at 3915 Fleur Drive in Des Moines. 

 If you can attend, please RSVP with Brenda Kole at or by calling 515-282-8533.  Also, there is an opportunity to attend a small dinner with the Vilsack and Jack and Monica – Brenda can fill you on the details.

My apologies for the short notice, this has been a fast moving event.
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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on new Federal Workforce Legislation

July 24, 2014   The AFL-CIO applauds Congress for the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law by President Obama this week. The legislation is the final product of more than eleven years … Continue reading

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the 5th Anniversary of Last Minimum Wage Increase


July 24, 2014

Today is a reminder of what is possible with just an ounce of political will.  If our leaders have the courage, they can lift millions of hardworking Americans out of poverty by raising the minimum wage. It’s a tragedy that workers have been trapped in a poverty-level minimum wage for five years. It must not go a day longer.


We are working harder than ever, while our wages are flat or falling. Over the past five years, the cost of living has continued to increase across the country, while the federal minimum wage has stayed flat. Raising the minimum wage is a critical and simple way to address a crucial underlying weakness in our economy. It will create jobs, grow our economy and increase the purchasing power of millions of workers.


The movement to raise wages is happening all around us. States are doing it. Cities, counties and little towns are doing it. Smart business owners are doing it. It’s time for Congress to get it done.


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Labor History

July 25 Workers stage a general strike—believed to be the nation’s first—in St. Louis, in support of striking railroad workers. The successful strike was ended when some 3,000 federal troops and 5,000 deputized special police killed at least eighteen people … Continue reading

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Sign the Petition for immigration relief

The AFL-CIO is calling for a week long action, seeking immediate relief for immigrants in this country so that they can work and live without fear of broken and damaging immigration policies.
As President of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, states in his July 10th Memorandum calling for a week long action:

“Millions of people will be able to work without fear and will be more likely to assert their rights in the workplace if President Obama affirmatively provides immigration relief to all those who would qualify for a path to citizenship under the bipartisan Senate immigration bill. We have made our recommendations to the administration, calling on them to create a process for individuals to affirmatively apply for immigration relief and work authorization — similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created for DREAMers — and to make this process available to anyone who would qualify for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status under Senate Bill 744.

The president announced last Monday that he will take action on immigration by the end of summer. Our job in the weeks ahead is to convince him to act boldly and extend relief to as many workers as possible. I am writing now to ask you to join in this fight to raise expectations for executive action, and to explain the value of bringing workers out of the shadows so that they can assert their rights without fear of deportation.”
Please sign the electronic petition that can be accessed through the link below and encourage your entire membership to do so throughout this week.

It is extremely important that this petition obtain as many signatures as possible so the President knows he has the support of organized labor to execute immediate action that will help millions work in this country without fear.
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As ALEC heads to Dallas, who’s paying the bills

As ALEC heads to Dallas, who’s paying the bills Posted by Jay Riestenberg on July 22, 2014 The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive, corporate-backed, lobby will have its annual conference next week in Dallas. More than 1,000 state lawmakers from across the … Continue reading

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Labor History

July 24
The United Auto Workers and the Teamsters form the Alliance for Labor Action (ALA), later to be joined by several smaller unions. The ALA’s agenda included support of the civil rights movement and opposition to the war in Vietnam. It disbanded after four years following the death of UAW President Walter Reuther – 1968
2014.07.21history-dignity(All Labor Has Dignity: People forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation. He fought throughout his life to connect the labor and civil rights movements, envisioning them as twin pillars for social reform.)

The U.S. minimum wage increases to $6.55 per hour today. The original minimum, set in 1938 by the Fair Labor Standards Act, was 25¢ per hour – 2008

U.S. minimum wage rises to $7.25 per hour, up from $6.55 – 2009

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on “Corporate Inversion”

July 22, 2014   Let’s call “corporate inversion” for what it is: a gaping, unpatriotic tax loophole. It’s time for Congress to close it and end this outrageous practice.   In recent months, corporations have exploited this tax dodging loophole … Continue reading

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“Stop Closing SSA Field Offices and Cutting Vital Services!”

Over the last few years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has seen its budget drastically cut by Congress, resulting in 11,000 fewer staff to provide customer service to the roughly 25 million Americans who visited Field Offices in 2013. Today … Continue reading

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Labor History

July 23
Anarchist Alexand2014.07.21history-berkmaner Berkman shoots and stabs but fails to kill steel magnate Henry Clay Frick in an effort to avenge the Homestead massacre 18 days earlier, in which nine strikers were killed. Berkman also tried to use what was, in effect, a suicide bomb, but it didn’t detonate – 1892

Northern Michigan copper miners strike for union recognition, higher wages and 8-hour day. By the time they threw in the towel the following April, 1,100 had been arrested on various charges and Western Federation of Miners President Charles Moyer had been shot, beaten and forced out of town – 1913

Aluminum Workers Int’l Union merges with The United Brick & Clay Workers of America to form Aluminum, Brick & Clay Workers – 1981

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Political Mobilization Class – July 24

Political Mobilizing: Labor Captain Program 
Thursday July 24th 4:30-5:00pm dinner; 5:00pm-8:00pm class 
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 25 Hall – 4600 46th Ave Rock Island 
The University of Iowa Labor Center will build off of the initial success and structure of the QCFL’s Labor Captain 
Program, nicknamed “The Fallow Project” in honor of the late and great Dick Fallow, who envisioned that 
someday there would be a labor captain in every voting precinct in the QCFL’s jurisdiction. Attendees will be 
educated on what it takes to be an effective Labor Captain and why political and social issue engagement at the 
neighborhood level is needed to garner labor victories in the 2014 Election cycle and beyond. 
This is a very important educational opportunity for your activists. Let’s pack the class and get out members ready to build power for workers for years to come. Plus, we’ll have Adolph’s Taco Bar for dinner, so that should help with recruitment!
In Solidarity,

Dino Leone, President
Quad City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
4600 46th Ave Suite #4
Rock Island, IL 61201
309-788-1303 (Illinois office)
309-738-6536 (United Way Labor Liaison)
Like us on facebook!

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on President Obama’s Executive Order Protecting Federal Employees from Gender Identity Discrimination

July 21, 2014


Working people believe in equality and fairness. That’s why we are happy to stand with President Obama in supporting protections for workers who are discriminated against on the basis of gender identity.

It is wrong for any employer to discriminate against or fire a worker based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination in the workplace has no place in the United States. That’s why it’s difficult to believe that in many parts of the country, it’s legal to fire workers for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

America’s unions and working families are dedicated to bringing fairness and dignity to the workplace—and will continue this work until every worker is treated with dignity and respect on the job.

We are proud to come together for a more just America.

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What New Iowans Contribute to the State Economy

What New Iowans Contribute to the State Economy EXECUTIVE SUMMARY By Heather Gibney and Peter S. Fisher July 2, 2014 IPP Policy Brief (14 pages, plus 2-page executive summary, PDF) Executive Summary (2 pages, PDF) News Release Immigrants are important … Continue reading

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ARA Update

Capitol Hill Event Puts Focus on Older Unemployed Workers On Wednesday, Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, teamed up with several Members of Congress, the Center for Effective Government, and other advocacy organizations to draw attention to older unemployed … Continue reading

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Lee County Win Meetings

Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 22, we have two Lee County WIN Meetings : 4PM Fort Madison; 6PM Keoluk. Hope to see you there!

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Labor History

July 21 Local militiamen are called out against striking railroad workers in Pittsburgh. The head of the Pennsylvania Railroad advises giving the strikers “a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread.” – … Continue reading

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Play for Poker for a Good Cause

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, We need you and your fellow union members to come play poker on Arsenal Island for a very good cause.   Come and play to show your solidarity with our sisters and brothers of AFSCME 2371, … Continue reading

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Party with Patrick

Join Patrick Hughes as we make him listen to us talk about him at the


Patrick Hughes and the Iowa City Federation of Labor are inviting you to party with Patrick:

Saturday, July 26th

3:00pm – 6:00pm

City Fed/CWJ Hall

940 S. Gilbert Court, Iowa City

This event is Patrick approved.

He will be arriving around 4:00.

There will be an open mic for BRIEF stories

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Labor History

July 19 Women’s Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, N.Y.  Delegates adopt a Declaration of Women’s Rights and call for women’s suffrage – 1848 (Public Speaking in Easy Steps: The women who spoke at the Women’s Rights Convention knew how … Continue reading

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Harkin scolds Branstad for not welcoming immigrant kids

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin scolded Gov. Terry Branstad Thursday, said the Republican governor’s stance against welcoming detained Central American children to Iowa is contrary to the state’s traditions.

“I am disappointed that Gov. Branstad has stated that we somehow shouldn’t take these kids,” Harkin, a Democrat, told Iowa reporters in his weekly conference call. “Why not? Why can’t we help protect these kids and open up our arms to them, help them here to keep them safe and give them every reasonable opportunity to apply for asylum?”

Harkin said Branstad’s stance is a departure from Republican Gov. Robert Ray’s decision to welcome thousands of Southeast Asian refugees to Iowa after the Vietnam War. “They were fleeing the terrible things that were happening to them in Laos and Cambodia and Vietnam, and we took them in and they have become a wonderful part of the Iowa community,” he added.


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