So, the Republican Party in Iowa is hanging its hat on trying to convince working people that Fred Hubbell is anti-worker? Well that is rich, considering the fact that the Republican Party in Iowa has done everything it can in the past two sessions to hurt working families.
They voted to lower minimum wage by taking away the ability of local governments to raise or change the minimum wage. Keep in mind, many communities had already raised the minimum wage. Thus, when this bill passed, was signed by the Governor and became law the minimum wage was effectively lowered for an estimated 85,000 Iowa workers.
They voted to dismantle Chapter 20 in the state. By doing so they stripped public sector workers of many bargaining rights and built into this horrible law requirements for recertification votes every contract and eliminated the ability of workers to pay dues through their paychecks. This was all clearly an attempt to achieve what the Republican platform called for and that read “we support legislation that eliminates all public-sector unions.”
They dismantled workers’ compensation laws that protected workers who are hurt on the job by lowering benefits. They passed a bill that increased the amount the employee must earn to eight times the weekly benefit to be covered for a second year of unemployment. They also pushed a bill that would make just about any termination outside of layoff a reason to disqualify workers for unemployment benefits.
They have eliminated project labor agreements (PLAs) that assured local workers would be used on public construction projects. PLAs were a way to assure that local tax dollars being spent stayed in the state, but no more.
They passed a bill that bypassed federal Made in America laws that required US steel and manufacturing to be used if federal funds are used on a project. This bill also allows local government to bypass Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements when awarding construction projects.
They passed a bill that made it much harder for families to sue a responsible party if they or a family member has suffered due to asbestos exposure.
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They have ignored the vast misclassification of workers so that companies can avoid paying payroll taxes. They have ignored wage theft by denying any debate on the issue. The list goes on and on, but please tell me, Iowa Republican Party, how gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell is anti-worker.
Fred Hubbell has received endorsements from almost every pro-worker group in the state. These organizations have a vetting process before endorsement for any candidate is made to assure they will support working families.
So, let the false accusations and mudslinging flow on the radio and TV if you must but, know that working people in Iowa care about facts and are seeking the facts. Perhaps it is time to change your campaign tactics by letting Iowans know what exactly it is your party is running on instead of throwing mud.
You can do better — we deserve better.
• Rick Moyle is executive director of then Hawkeye Area Labor Council AFL-CIO.