Guest Columnist

Mauro: Favor working people over business owners

Eddie Mauro is a candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

“Past performance is no indication of future results.”

That’s a favorite mantra of many business analysts. It may be true when pondering statistics. But when considering people, it’s a false positive. You certainly can predict how people will perform, based on what they’ve said and done.

For example, if a business owner has historically forced employees to work in hazardous conditions for minimum wage, it’s no surprise that now, they are compelling workers to choose between risking their health even further or go without a meager paycheck.

If elected officials have historically favored those business owners over working people, it’s no surprise that now, they are threatening to deny unemployment benefits to those workers who don’t return to their hazardous jobs.

Those historically silent about this and other injustices are remaining silent now — and we shouldn’t expect anything different from them.

I have been a business owner for nearly three decades, but I am pro-people.

Because I made personal concessions during the Great Recession, no one at UIG, the property and casualty insurance agency where I am president, lost their job. I have done the same this year with COVID-19. And will do it again to put my employees first.

Because I believe in workers’ right to organize, I supported my campaign staff’s successful effort to unionize with the Campaign Workers Guild, becoming the first senate campaign in Iowa to do so. This guarantees they receive a dignified living wage, get paid time off, unlimited paid sick leave, and fully paid health insurance. We did this together. Which is the way business should work.

On the contrary, the lobbyist-backed candidate, Theresa Greenfield, bankrupted her company in 2013, and went on to evict several small businesses with Colby Interests so she could replace their storefronts with an Aldi. We all have seen what happens with a real estate developer in power, and it has certainly not benefited hardworking Iowans.

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COVID has revealed fissures in America’s bedrock. To fix the cracks, we need leaders who have proved they can craft solutions to assure every worker of a dignified wage, a safe workplace, paid time off and sick leave, and affordable, accessible health care.

These days have taught us that past performance certainly is an indication of future results. We need to look closely at what someone has said and done when considering what they may say and do in office.

Eddie Mauro is a candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

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