In 2017, Iowa saw devastating attacks on worker rights. Collective bargaining and workers compensation were placed on the chopping block without any consideration to the impact on workers.
I stood with my labor brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors in those horrific days and I will always do so in the future.
Worker rights are a priority. Workers deserve to have a living wage. Workers deserve to have safe working conditions. Workers deserve to be treated with respect.
A living wage must be mandated by the state so all workers have the ability to provide for their families. A minimum living wage of $15 per hour must be implemented in incremental steps over a period of a couple of years and then indexed to an economic indicator such as inflation.
Wage theft is a serious issue in Iowa and across the country. The state has a responsibility to provide an adequate amount of oversight to ensure workers are paid what they are due in a timely manner.
The state also has a responsibility to protect public workers rights. Collective bargaining, workers compensation, fair share, prevailing wage, and project labor agreements impact working families by ensuring fair wages and good working conditions.
Particular attention must be given to pay equity for women, family leave for all workers, and stopping sexual harassment in the workplace.
Additionally, pensions for public workers must be protected. Threats have been made against Iowa’s public workers to break the state’s promise of providing a defined pension plan — plans each worker helps to support. Working families are counting on the pensions that have been promised and they must be protected.