Iowa GOP opens new front against public worker unions

The Iowa legislature is finalizing rules that would amount to one of the most ambitious assaults on powerful public employee unions in recent memory, potentially stripping thousands of state workers from union rolls in the coming months.

After Republicans captured control of all levers of state government last year, the legislature passed a package of reforms aimed squarely at collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

Several of the provisions mirror efforts passed in other Republican-led states, banning state offices from automatically deducting union dues from employee paychecks and limiting the scope of contract negotiations.

But another provision threatens the very existence of the unions themselves: It will require union members to vote to re-certify their unions every time a new contract comes up for negotiation.

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