Dubuque’s unions name grand marshal for annual Labor Day parade

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Dubuque’s annual Labor Day parade celebrates the Key City’s labor union-rich history and present.

This year, members of Dubuque’s United Labor Participation Committee selected long-time local Teamsters leader Dave Baker as the parade’s grand marshal.

Baker started with the Teamsters Union in 1976, as a truck driver and warehouseman at Continental-Hoxie in Dubuque, according to a release from Dubuque’s ULPC.

Baker has served the union in many roles over the years, including as a trustee on the executive board of Teamsters Local 421 in 1990 and later as president and principal officer of Local 421.

As full-time business agent for Local 421, a position he held for some 22 years, Baker negotiated more than 300 collective bargaining agreements. His contracts provided his Teamsters members with fair and equitable wages, fringe benefits and working conditions.

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AFSCME disputes study that state employees are overpaid

The average annual pay for Iowa’s state employees is $60,053, which is 151 percent of the average pay for private sector workers in Iowa, according to a report released today by the conservative Public Interest Institute of Mount Pleasant.

The report, titled, “Iowa’s Privileged Class: State Government Employees,” says Iowa ranks No. 1 nationally in the pay gap between state employees and private-sector workers. Iowa has held that status for 26 years, the institute found.

The study’s findings were strongly disputed by Danny Homan, president of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union representing state executive branch workers. He described the Public Interest Institute as having a right-wing agenda that has slanted its research to be detrimental and inaccurate towards wages and benefits paid to public employees in Iowa.

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Alliance Report

Alliance Members Continue Social Security Birthday Celebrations With Social Security celebrating its 79th birthday last week, Alliance members have been holding events across the country honoring the landmark retirement security program. This week’s events included celebrations with cake and balloons … Continue reading

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Branstad should share his plans

Our governor is pledging to serve his entire sixth term if he’s re-elected this fall. Swell. But good luck figuring out what he wants to do with four more years.

At multiple points during last week’s State Fair debate between Gov. Terry Branstad and his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Jack Hatch, the governor couldn’t explain his plans for dealing with key issues during a sixth term. The emperor, it seems, has no details, or very few of them that he’s willing to talk about.

Asked about the growing funding challenges facing the state’s deteriorating transportation system, the governor said we need a “new system” for funding roads. What is that new system? Branstad couldn’t say, even after nearly 20 years in office.

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Read more at http://thegazette.com/branstad-should-share-his-plans-20140819#X4C2gDBI8HtcZkSB.99

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National Women’s Political Caucus Endorses Staci Appel for IA-03

2014 Candidate for House of Representatives committed to Women’s Rights   Washington, D.C. – The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) proudly endorses Staci Appel as Representative for Iowa’s Third Congressional District. Appel has demonstrated strong leadership during her tenure in … Continue reading

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Labor History

August 20
The Great Fire of 1910, a wildfire that consumed about 3 million acres in Washington, Idaho and Montana—an area about the size of Connecticut—claimed the lives of 78 firefighters over two days.  It is believed to be the largest, although not deadliest, fire in U.S. history – 1910

Deranged relief postal service carrier Patrick “Crazy Pat” Henry Sherrill shoots and kills 14 coworkers, and wounds another six, before killing himself at an Edmond, Okla., postal facility.  Supervisors had ignored warning signs of Sherrill’s instability, investigators later found; the shootings came a day after he had been reprimanded for poor work.  The incident inspired the objectionable term “going postal” – 1986

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Labor History

August 18 Radio station WEVD, named for Eugene V. Debs, goes on the air in New York City, operated by The Forward Association as a memorial to the labor and socialist leader – 1927 (The Bending Cross: A Biography of … Continue reading

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Clinton Camanche Labor Walk August 25

I have confirmed that we will have access to walk lists – labor to labor – to use on Monday, August 25th. I hope you all can make it. We will be canvassing union households who live in the City … Continue reading

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ARA Update

Alliance Members Honor 79th Birthday of Social Security Our nation’s Social Security system celebrated its 79th anniversary on Thursday, and Alliance members commemorated the important event by throwing more than 30 birthday parties across the country with cake and balloons. … Continue reading

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Soapbox: Appel Stands Up For Seniors and Middle Class

Democrat Highlights Promise to Protect Seniors on 79th Anniversary of Social Security DES MOINES – Staci Appel (D-Ackworth) Democratic nominee for Congress from the 3rd district, vowed to be an advocate for middle class and seniors today at the Des Moines Register Soap … Continue reading

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Labor History

August 16 George Meany, plumber, founding AFL-CIO president, born in City Island, Bronx. In his official biography, George Meany and His Times, he said he had “never walked a picket line in his life.” He also said he took part … Continue reading

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Celebrate Patrick Hughes Life August 16

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August 16: Service and Rememberance of Patrick Hughes – 2- 4 PM Kirkwood Room, 515 Kirkwood Ave (Next to Lensing Funeral Home) followed by 4 – 6 PM Center for Worker Justice/City Fed Hall, 940 S Gilbert Court. Patrick’s family … Continue reading

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BANDITS TO HOST CELEBRATION & APPRECIATION OF SENATOR TOM HARKIN FOR 40 YEARS OF SERVICE TO IOWA

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Bobblehead giveaway Sunday Aug. 17, with first pitches by Senator Harkin, Davenport Mayor Gluba DAVENPORT, Iowa. (August 7, 2014) – The Quad Cities River Bandits will give away a bobblehead of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin at Modern Woodmen Park at … Continue reading

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Send a Message – Social Security is 79 years old today

On August 14 Social Security is turning 79 and we are celebrating with birthday parties around the country! This card will be delivered to members of Congress everywhere, reminding them how important our Social Security system is to Americans of … Continue reading

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Summit

 

August 14, 2014

 

In response to Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Summit, which convenes today in Denver, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:

 

“It’s about time Walmart figured out that America’s workers are the most qualified and the best skilled at getting the job done. For decades, Walmart has led the charge on outsourcing and a global race to the bottom.

 

But workers will not benefit from a Walmart-ification of our manufacturing sector. Jobs in the Walmart model won’t restore America’s middle class or build shared prosperity given the company’s obsession with low labor costs and undermining American labor standards. And the company’s ‘commitment’ to American manufacturing is meaningless unless it actually increases the proportion of its products that are American-made.

 

This initiative seems like an attempt to change the conversation from the need for Walmart to improve jobs for its 1.4 million retail workers in the United States. If Walmart is truly committed to rebuilding the American middle class, it can start with its own workers, most of whom make less than $25,000/year and struggle to make ends meet.

 

Walmart should use its two-day summit to prove the company is committed to real and substantive change and an end to corporate whitewashing.”

 

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Ferguson, Missouri Shooting

August 14, 2014

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Michael Brown, the teenager who was recently killed in Ferguson, Missouri.  His death and the anguish of the Ferguson community have rightfully become a national story.  Despite the tragedy there is also an opportunity to have an important discussion about issues that we have long neglected in this country.  This conversation can only be had if cooler heads prevail.  We are a nation that still remains segregated by race and class and tragedies like this highlight those divisions.  It is encouraging that the Justice Department and FBI are closely investigating this incident so that the community of Ferguson is served.

 

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Labor History

August 15 To begin what proved to become one of the world’s longest construction projects, workers lay the foundation stone of Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men.  The job was declared completed in … Continue reading

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Anti-Schilling Protests

August  11, 2014

Local labor unions say Bobby Schilling is out of touch with working Americans. This morning, the Quad City Federation of Labor held a protest in Rock Island against the former 17th district congressman. The Colona Republican candidate is hosting a lunch fundraiser featuring the Speaker of the U.S. House.

Federation president, Dino Leone, says Schilling opposes raising the minimum wage and doesn’t support the people he wants to represent.

“It saddens me that people talk about making it paycheck by paycheck and they’re making six figures, but then they hold 2k fundraisers. Those people live in a different world. They don’t live in the people’s worlds that I represent.”

Leone says Speaker John Boehner’s support of Schilling sends a message that corporate profits are more important the livelihoods of working Americans. The federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, which Leone says just won’t cut it

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Getting to the truth of Iowa’s tax facts

Iowans are taxed more lightly than the national average, and at a lower rate than most surrounding states. The corporate income tax collected by the state is much below the national average. Both points have been made many times in the past decade by the Iowa Policy Project, and are reinforced in a recent report by the Tax Foundation, released jointly with the Iowa Taxpayers Association and the Future of Iowa Foundation.Yet the headline in The Gazette, above an article covering that report, read: “Report ranks Iowa tax climate among worst.” (July 30) That was the message the organizations wanted to convey in arguing for even lower taxes than businesses pay now. Apparently it didn’t matter that the groups’ own report contradicts this conclusion. – See more at: http://thegazette.com/subject/opinion/guest-columnists/getting-to-the-truth-of-iowas-tax-facts-20140808#sthash.58IGPb4t.dpuf
Read more at http://thegazette.com/subject/opinion/guest-columnists/getting-to-the-truth-of-iowas-tax-facts-20140808#vgwGFEcvZFTbAXTK.99

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Labor History

August 142014.08.11history-gdansk-poland
President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, providing, for the first time ever, guaranteed income for retirees and creating a system of unemployment benefits – 1935

Members of the upstart Polish union Solidarity seize the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk. Sixteen days later the government officially recognizes the union. Many consider the event the beginning of the end for the Iron Curtain – 1980

Former AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland dies at age 77 – 1999

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