Day of Action, around Iowa, Supporting the working families on strike against Verizon

verizon StrikeHeader-3The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has called for a national day of action on Thursday, June 2nd to stand in solidarity with our union sisters and brothers in CWA and IBEW who have been on strike since April 13th.

Iowa Verizon Wireless Picket locations:
Waterloo 2767 Crossroads Blvd 430-530PM
Cedar Rapids 151 Collins Road 5-600PM
Coralville 2425 2nd Ave, 5-600PM
Sioux City 4400 Sergeant Rd 5-600PM
Des Moines 4932 SE 14th Street 430-530PM
Ames 806 S Duff

More Locations may be added.

After ten months trying to reach a fair contract, nearly 40,000 men and women who work at Verizon went on strike on April 13 to protect good jobs and to ensure quality service. It is the largest national strike in recent years.

Despite making record profits — $39 billion in profits over the last three years — Verizon executives have been pushing to offshore jobs to the Philippines, Mexico and other locations, outsource work to low-wage contractors and transfer workers away from their families for months at a time.
Click here for more information:

Contact Steve Abbott 319-939-2127

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Women’s Global Leadership Program

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By Tracy Leone In March, I had the privilege to participate in the first-ever AFLCIO Women’s Global Leadership Program alongside nearly fifty other women from a broad spectrum of trade unions across the US. The program ran parallel to the … Continue reading

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AFL-CIO Challenges Navient Corporation to Disclose Its Lobbying Spending

student debt chainAFL-CIO Shareholder Proposal

 (Washington, DC, May 26, 2016) – Today the AFL-CIO demanded that student loan debt servicer Navient disclose its corporate spending on lobbying activity. The labor federation delivered a proposal during Navient’s annual shareholder meeting calling on the company to disclose all of its lobbying efforts and expenditures.

Navient, the student loan servicing company that was spun off from Sallie Mae, has been subject to past scrutiny by government regulators for its compliance with student loan rules. The company funds lobbying activities that touch elected officials at the federal and local level but has refused to disclose how much money is spent on such efforts.

“Too many working people have been saddled with an intimidating amount of student loans that prevent them from achieving economic security,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “Navient needs to be completely transparent about its lobbying activities on the rules that protect student borrowers.”

The proposal delivery comes on the same day that the AFL-CIO concludes its second annual Borrowers Hotline. The Hotline, which is run in conjunction with Student Debt Crisis and received hundreds of calls over the course of its three-day run, provides a toll-free way for current and former students to dial-in and get information about their rights and information about applying for government programs.

To learn more about Navient’s lobbying practices, click here.

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Tell Grassley to do his job!

grassley coffeeUpcoming Events

Sen. Grassley Town Halls:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wayne County Town Meeting
10:15-11:15 a.m.
Wayne County Courthouse
100 North Lafayette Street
CorydonDavis County Town Meeting
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Mutchler Community Center
900 East North Street

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Keokuk County Town Meeting
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Keokuk County Courthouse Courtroom
101 South Main Street
SigourneyFriday, June 3, 2016

Humboldt County Town Meeting
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Humboldt County Courthouse Courtroom
203 Main Street
Dakota City
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We can take on Wall Street

Q: When is a salary not a salary? A: When you are a corporate executive or Wall Street money manager who doesn’t want to pay your fair share of taxes. Corporations and Wall Street bankers have rigged the tax code … Continue reading

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AFL-CIO, unions target potential Trump voters

trumka2AFL-CIO, unions target potential Trump voters

The nation’s industrial labor unions, led by the AFL-CIO, are beginning a major grass-roots effort to target members who are thinking of supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The nation’s largest labor federation wants to be a bulwark against the real estate billionaire in Rust Belt battlegrounds that could pave his path to the White House.

The campaign, which ramps up this week and next, will include digital ad buys, door knocking and phone banking and is expected to reach between 5 million and 6 million voters in key swing states, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an interview.


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Labor History

May 27 The U.S. Supreme Court declares the Depression-era National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional, about a month before it was set to expire – 1935 The CIO-affiliated Insurance Workers of America merges with its AFL counterpart, the Insurance … Continue reading

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Surviving seven years without a raise

pam jocum 2Surviving seven years without a raise

Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the last time the federal government granted hardworking Americans a raise. Since May 25, 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained frozen at $7.25 an hour. Here in Iowa, despite efforts in the Iowa Senate to raise the state’s minimum wage, Iowa families continue to attempt survival on the bare minimum wage allocated by the federal government.

The minimum wage isn’t about high schoolers or lazy people. It’s about families. It’s about the mothers and fathers who work 40 hours each and every week, doing anything from flipping burgers to filing paperwork, and yet still worry about paying for health care, housing, even food. It’s about the single parents working two full-time jobs just to pay for the basic needs of life for their children, and who never get to see them as a result. It’s about our friends and neighbors all across this state who work as hard as anyone, and yet struggle far too much.


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Union Endorsed Candidates Events

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Tuesday, May 24th – SD34 – Sen. Liz Mathis: Mathis Campaign Volunteer Open House, Mathis for Iowa Senate Campaign Office, 131 Marion Blvd. Marion, IA 52304. 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Contact David Rogers at or call 505-231-9805 Wednesday, May 25th – SD34 … Continue reading

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Iowa Democratic Party Disagrees with Trump’s View that Wages Are “Too High”

minimum wage raiseMcGuire Calls for a Minimum Wage Increase

DES MOINES–May 25th, 2007, was the last time the federal government passed legislation that ensured Americans a wage increase. While the cost of living has skyrocketed, the federal minimum wage remains frozen at $7.25/hr, a rate that prevents working families from getting ahead. Democrats value a strong workforce and have continued to fight for working Americans here in Iowa and around the country, so Donald Trump’s announcement that wages are “too high” demonstrates a complete disregard for middle class Americans and shows how out of touch he really is.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a surprise announcement coming from Trump. His business empire was built on the backs of exploited workers and underpaid staff. Last week, Americans discovered that Trump was rooting for the housing crisis of 2007. Donald Trump’s stance on minimum wage is indicative of an overall economic strategy based on greed and self-interest. Today, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Dr. Andy McGuire issued a call for a higher minimum wage in Iowa and across the country:

“Donald Trump’s claims that American workers’ wages are too high and his call to abolish the federal minimum wage echo his anti-worker mentality. In Iowa, we have too many people working full-time and living below the poverty line. It is unacceptable, and Donald Trump is not the answer.

“Our wages are clearly behind the times. I applaud our Democratic lawmakers in the Iowa House and Senate for standing up for Iowa’s working men and women by making an increase in wages a legislative priority. It is unfortunate to see a candidate like Trump who doesn’t respect workers, is out of touch with the reality of day-to-day living, and wants to capitalize on the backs of others.

“Democrats have a proud history of championing American workers, and we are united by our commitment to rewarding hard work and moving forward by raising the minimum wage.”

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Polk County Primary Election Info

June 7, 2016

Iowa June Primary

Primary Election June 7, 2016

Polls open 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

List of Candidates


Polling Locations


Absentee Ballot Request

Electronic Voter Registration

Paper Voter Registration

Find your precinct

Election Results– Available after 9:00 P.M. on June 7

Questions: 515-286-3247


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Labor History

May 26 Men and women weavers in Pawtucket, R.I., stage nation’s first “co-ed” strike – 1824 Western Federation of Miners members strike for 8-hour day, Cripple Creek, Colo. – 1894 Actors’ Equity Assn. is founded by 112 actors at a … Continue reading

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Tell Congress to Take on Wall Street

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“The big banks are bigger than they were before the 2008 crisis, and CEOs and Wall Street money managers continue to benefit from obscene tax loopholes that cost us billions. Stand up to Wall Street.” PETITION TO CONGRESS: The big … Continue reading

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Another Look At Updated Early Vote Numbers For The Primary

iowa election may 2016With just two weeks left before Iowa’s primary elections on June 7, let’s take another look at the early vote totals across the state. A lot has changed since we first discussed the numbers three weeks ago.

The Secretary of State’s office is posting these totals regularly now, so you can always go check yourself on their website. Also, here’s the useful list of candidates running.

One caveat for the numbers I’m posting here – you’ll note that in some places the return rate of absentee ballots is very low. My guess in most of these cases is that those are areas where an absentee mailer just went out and everyone just recently requested ballots, and not so much an indication that a campaign isn’t picking them up. Low return rates are not uncommon at this stage in the campaign. We’ll check in again over the next two weeks to see how they’re coming back in.


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Canvasing for Breckenridge

​Hi all,
I want to thank everyone for their hard work over the past weeks. Unfortunately, we can’t let up. We need to keep the pressure on.
We are planning a day of canvasing this Saturday, May 28th, 12:30 to 4 pm. We will meet at the headquarters on the  southwest corner of the square in Newton. Please plan on attending.
If you can’t make it, we still need to work on absentee requests. If you have been given a packet or know people who would complete an absentee request please let me know.
Thanks and see you Saturday…
Wes Breckenridge
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Labor History

May 25 Striking shoemakers in Philadelphia are arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy for violating an English common law that bars schemes aimed at forcing wage increases. The strike was broken – 1805 Philip Murray is born in Scotland. He … Continue reading

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Free Summer Meals Reach Just 10 Percent of Needy Iowa Kids

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Close to 90 percent of the Iowa children who are eligible for free meals during their summer break aren’t getting them. Community groups run summer meal sites across the state, but the Iowa Department of Education … Continue reading

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Iowa JobWatch: Smooth spot in rough road to recovery

Jobs rebound in April, slow growth over year; jobless rate up to 3.9 percent IOWA CITY, Iowa (May 20, 2016) — April job numbers for Iowa showed a healthy one-month increase of 4,300 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose for … Continue reading

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Senator Grassley is responsible for the judicial crisis – The Iowa Daily Democrat

current court vacanciesSenator Grassley’s blocking of the public hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, is dominating the headlines. However, since Grassley became head of the Judiciary Committee, judicial appointments at all levels of American courts have been delayed. His refusal to hold timely hearings, push appointments and approve nominees has created a serious judicial crisis.

Professor Sheldon Goldman, an expert on judicial appointments at the University of Massachusetts, is quoted as saying, “the Republican strategy has been to obstruct, delay and slow walk these nominees at every stage of the process.”

The Congressional Research Service, an arm of Congress providing nonpartisan advice, confirms that analysis.  “Under Senator Grassley’s leadership, the Judiciary Committee is grinding the nominations process to a halt.”


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Labor History

May 23 An estimated 100,000 textile workers, including more than 10,000 children, strike in the Philadelphia area. Among the issues: 60-hour workweeks, including night hours, for the children – 1903 The Battle of Toledo begins today: a five-day running battle between … Continue reading

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