Iowans are next in line for anti-worker warfare.
Governor Terry Brandstad is coming under fire for receiving both a $180,000 salary and collecting a $50,000 pension whilst his legislature aims to lay off workers and strip pension rights of public employees. Branstad’s camp has argued that he took a 50% pay cut to become Governor, though it is unclear how this is actually related to his do as I say, not as I do approach.
Meanwhile, a legislative showdown is brewing over the $75 million Convention Complex in Des Moines. From the Iowa Independent:
Last week, the city council — led by former Republican Iowa House Speaker and now Mayor Ron Corbett – voted 5-4 to push ahead and seek bids on a first contract related to the project with a labor agreement in place. This, however, flies in the face of one of Branstad’s first acts as governor: An executive order that prohibits state funds to go to construction projects which come with project labor agreements.
The Independent references a study suggesting the value of PLAs:
The county’s construction manager estimated that both with and without the PLA, the percentage of union workers on the project would be about 90 percent to 95 percent of the workforce. However, with the PLA, the 5 percent to 10 percent of the workforce that would be nonunion in either case would probably be somewhat better paid. Its overall conclusion, however, was that the gross dollar savings from using the PLA was going to be greater than that wage differential, and the PLA would produce a worthwhile positive net benefit.
The IOWA AFL-CIO has set up an online petition to combat what they’re calling “a bald-faced attack on America’s middle class as political payback to CEOs.”
Tuesday, House Bill 206 made some headway toward requiring Iowa public employees to pay up to 30 percent of the cost of employer-provided health insurance. Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) said the measure was the equivalent of “declaring war on public employees.”
Some good news for worker-supportive groups came from the Herald-Index, however, which wrote that “the bill stands almost no chance of winning final approval in both chambers.”