Branstad critics see irony in mental health proclamation

IMG_4906DES MOINES | Gov. Terry Branstad came under fire Thursday for signing a Mental Health Month proclamation while defending his plan to close two of the state’s four mental health institutions.

“Frankly, the governor signing this proclamation is laughable given his attacks on mental health providers and patients,” said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa, a left-leaning policy advocacy group. Branstad is “pretending to be in favor of quality mental health care. It’s ridiculous.”

Sinovic delivered a petitions with more than 2,500 signatures from people opposed to the Branstad plan to close the mental health institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant.

Branstad didn’t see anything ironic about proclaiming Mental Health Month while trying to close mental health facilities.


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Working Families Summit Photos

web1_IMG_1499Click here to see photos from the summit

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Disappointing Vote

“It is disappointing that the Senate decided to move ahead to consider the Fast Track bill that will cede congressional leverage to ensure that US trade deals, including the TPP, help rather than hurt America’s working families. We’ve seen the devastating cost of bad trade deals over the years so we know that Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority is not the way to ensure that the American public receives the full and thorough debate on the vast implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Working people are especially disappointed that several Democratic Senators voted to shut off debate and shut out workers despite assurances they would do the opposite. We’ll be closely watching the next 30 hours of debate, and although the bill now seems poised for eventual Senate passage, we are hopeful that some amendments can be made to reduce the harm it will cause.  We also look forward to consideration in the House, where this anti-worker legislation will have far less support.  If it dies in the House, we can proceed to a real effort to reform trade policy in ways that will benefit the whole US economy.”


-AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist Celeste Drakeshameful



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Robert Reich at the Working Families Summit

Listen to Robert Reich at the Working Families Summit – May 16, 2015

click on – Thursday, May 21, 2015 12:00 pm

click here to go to audio

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Help Elect Paul McAndrew to the Board of South Slope

Local Attorney Paul McAndrew is running for South Slope Board of Directors for the North Liberty seat. Paul is a friend of working families who will bring balance and accountability to the anti-worker tactics of South Slope CEO Justyn Miller.

If you are a South Slope Cooperative member you should have a ballot with Paul’s name on it. Vote for Paul and mail it back. If you know a South Slope member in the North Liberty region please urge them to vote for Paul.

City Fed is committed to supporting the members of CWA Local 7101 who have made South Slope the successful company it is today in spite of the company’s egotistical leadership.


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Women of Steel donate to Habitat for Humanity

11012836_910060939032800_2958407094346928378_nOn May 14, USW Local 310 Women of Steel presented a check to Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity for $1160. The money was raised through our burrito sale in March and will go toward the Hammers and Heels Women Build that will take place beginning this month.

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Labor History

May 22 Eugene V. Debs imprisoned in Woodstock, Ill., for role in Pullman strike – 1895 (The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene V. Debs: Eugene V. Debs was a labor activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries … Continue reading

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New AFL-CIO Report Highlights Reasons Why TPP Is Not the Answer to Trade Issues with China

(Washington, DC, Wednesday, May 20th) – On a conference call today, AFL-CIO Policy Director and Special Counsel Damon Silvers and Roosevelt Institute Senior Economist Adam Hersh described the reasons why the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is not the solution to improving China’s … Continue reading

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Loebsack: Listen to workers, not GOP lip service

Last weekend saw a lot of activity across central Iowa in the political sphere, a not unfamiliar scene for our state less than a year away from the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.

In Ames, more than 500 working Iowans packed an Iowa State auditorium to discuss many of the issues Democrats like myself have been working to address: how we can raise wages, protect our civil rights, and make work family friendly. From raising the minimum wage, to passing the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensuring our moms and dads can receive paid family leave, Iowa Democrats want to ensure all our families can climb the economic ladder and achieve their dreams.

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Hawkeye Labor Council Steak Fry

hawkeye steakfry 2015 re doHello all,

I want to remind everyone that the Annual Steak Fry will be on June 13th @ 1211 Wiley Blvd SW Cedar Rapids Iowa ( IBEW 405 Hall )

I will need to have our order placed with the caterer by June 5th . If you are planning on attending on June 13th please let me know before June 5th.

I do order a few extra in case we have some walk- ins but  RSVP’s would greatly be appreciated so that our cost for this event can be kept in check.

This year Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders will be present and will speak. As in the past this is a casual attire event .

In solidarity,

Rick Moyle

Hawkeye Labor Council AFL-CIO

1211 Wiley Blvd SW Cedar Rapids Iowa 52404


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USW 310 Officers

10986641_1581519285440512_3426484408871229735_nEveryone welcome Our new Local 310 Officers! President Steve Vonk, VP Dan Kelley,Financial Secretary Laurie Chapman, Recording Secretary Tim Linn, Tresurer Jim Martens, Guide Scott Danks, Guards Kenny Jackson and Brian Myers, Trustees Chris Tague, Justin Wheeler, Bill Campbell

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Message from Iowa To Presidential Candidates: Which Side Are You On?

May 19, 2015 Larry Cohen More than 500 active leaders from 56 organizations spent Saturday at Iowa State University in general sessions and workshops uniting around issues and strategies at the Working Families Summit. I had been to Iowa in … Continue reading

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Worker Wins Update:

Workers Score Victories In Pay and Organizing, Help Others in Community May 20, 2015 WASHINGTON, DC – Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions. LA City Council Approves … Continue reading

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Raising Wages Champion Wins Philadelphia Mayoral Primary

Kenney’s win shows that voters want leadership on wages, jobs May 19, 2015 – Philadelphians chose a former union dishwasher and son of a firefighter to lead the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ today, as raising wages champion Jim Kenney was … Continue reading

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Labor History

May 20
The Railway Labor Act takes effect today. It is the first federal legislation protecting workers’ rights to form unions – 1926

Some 9,000 rubber workers strike in Akron, Ohio – 1933

May 21
Italian activists and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, widely believed to have been framed for murder, go on trial today. They eventually are executed as part of a government campaign against dissidents – 1921

2015.05.18 history sbc strikers


The “Little Wagner Act” is signed in Hawaii, guaranteeing pineapple and sugar workers the right to bargain collectively. After negotiations failed, a successful 79-day strike shut
down 33 of the territory’s 34 plantations and brought higher wages and a 40-hour week – 1945

Nearly 100,000 unionized SBC Communications Inc. workers begin a 4-day strike to protest the local phone giant’s latest contract offer – 2004

Union Communication Services

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DMEA Reply to DM Register Editorial Board on Outsourcing Substitutes

The Des Moines Register’s editorial team states that they are standing up for the sake of students in their latest piece supporting the outsourcing of substitute teachers in the Des Moines school district. Beyond supporting the outsourcing proposal the Register … Continue reading

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TPP Event in Cedar Valley

This gallery contains 4 photos.

And this is how we greet candidates in the cedar valley who haven’t said whether they are for or against the TPP. We received a lot of press from the local/national media this morning. We’re hoping that our persistence will … Continue reading

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Postal Informational Picket May 20

apwu alliancePostal Workers will be holding an informational Picket, May 20th from 4 pm to 6 pm in front of the main post office, 2nd and university. The picket is about the proposed privatization of the postal service.

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Reich cautiously optimistic about the Progressive agenda in 2016 – The Iowa Daily Democrat

web1_IMG_1499Ames, Iowa – Robert Reich said the progressive message that he articulates is gaining steam, though the true test will come in the 2016 election when candidates take that message to voters.

The former Labor Secretary, author and college professor said all of the early signs point to Democratic candidates embracing the progressive approach.

“Even Hillary (Clinton) started out her campaign by saying the deck is stacked in favor of people at the top,” Reich said. “She never said that before publicly. We’re making progress.”

Reich said he would work overtime to see to it that the progressive message he offers is part of the next presidential campaign, and he’s more interested in that than the details of who makes the case.


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Report Finds Iowa Failing on Child Welfare Placements

Play Audio in Browser Window PHOTO: A family environment leads to far better outcomes for kids in the child-welfare system, but in Iowa a significant percentage of these children are ending up in non-family care, such as group and institutional … Continue reading

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