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Tired of lagging economic growth, wasteful government spending and high unemployment, states in the industrial Midwest have decided to break the iron triangle between Big Labor bosses, union political spending and the politicians who do their bidding. Now it’s time for Washington to do the same.  read more…

via EDITORIAL: Bring up right to work – Washington Times.

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Should comparing public and private sector employees be legal in contract talks? | TheGazette

Should comparing public and private sector employees be legal in contract talks? As state and national economies continue to struggle, more and more claims have been made in recent years that taxpayer-funded public employees are paid too much, pay too little … Continue reading

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Effort seeks to elevate ‘right to work’ – SouthwestIowaNews.com: Local News

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Effort seeks to elevate ‘right to work’ Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:00 am By ANDREW NELSON OWH News Service |0 comments Iowa’s “right-to-work” law has been on the books for more than 60 years. But on Wednesday a western Iowa legislator introduced … Continue reading

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Waukee hires new city administrator | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com

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Waukee hires new city administrator Ankeny assistant manager will begin new job Feb. 18 Purchase Image Tim Moerman, Waukee’s new city administrator, addresses the council at Thursday’s meeting. / CHRISTOPHER PRATT/THE REGISTER Written by Christopher Pratt FILED UNDER Communities After … Continue reading

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Sheldon School Board Receives Initial Union Contract Proposal For 2013/14 At Their January 16th Meeting | KIWARadio.com

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Sheldon School Board Receives Initial Union Contract Proposal For 2013/14 At Their January 16th Meeting Date posted – January 16, 2013 At their meeting Wednesday evening, the Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education received the initial contract proposal for next … Continue reading

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Right-to-work myths – Chicago Sun-Times

Right-to-work myths Bruce Rauner’s recent commentary [“Illinois next stop for labor reform,” Dec. 21] adds little to the debate about how labor law reform could attract new businesses and jobs to Illinois. Research shows that there is no connection between … Continue reading

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Water Works OKs union contract, pay raises for employees

WATERLOO, Iowa — Waterloo Water Works union workers will get a total pay and benefit package increase of 3 percent in each of the next three years. The municipal utility’s board of trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a new … Continue reading

Locked-out Crystal Sugar workers reject contract 4th time; dispute would end if deal approved – 12/1/2012 8:22:12 PM | Newser

Contract opponents say the sugar beet processor’s five-year contract offer would cut health care benefits and weaken job security and seniority protections. The company says the offer would raise worker pay by 17 percent over five years when a $2,000 signing bonus is taken into account.

Leaders of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International union said in a news release that the workers voted 55 percent to reject management’s contract offer.

“By now it should be clear that Dave Berg and Crystal Sugar’s management team has no interest in ending a fiscally irresponsible lockout that has been disastrous to farm shareholders, put the federal sugar program in jeopardy, and hurt countless families in the Red River Valley,” said John Riskey, the head of a union local that represents employees at three American Crystal factories.

“It’s time for shareholders to reclaim their company and send management back to the table for real give-and-take negotiations,” he said.

Company officials said in a statement Saturday after learning about the workers’ vote that the package is “solid and generous” and “similar to what we are offering our current employees.”

“We’re finding the pay and benefits included in it are attracting high quality area workers who are now creating a productive and successful new workforce for our Company,” the statement said. “The Company continues to move forward and focus on running our business, processing beets and delivering sugar to our customers.”

The lockout began in Aug. 1, 2011, and affected about 1,300 workers at plants in Drayton and Hillsboro, N.D., and Minnesota factories in Moorhead, Crookston and East Grand Forks. More than 500 of those workers have since left, said Brian Ingulsrud, an American Crystal vice president.

The company has used replacement workers to continue operating the plants.

Moorhead, Minn.-based American Crystal is a cooperative owned by about 2,800 sugar beet growers. It is the nation’s largest sugar beet processor, selling 90 percent of its production to industrial customers, including candy makers, bakeries and breakfast cereal makers.

The lockout began after 96 percent of the workers voting on the company’s contract proposal rejected the offer on July 31, 2011. In subsequent ballots, 90 percent of the voting workers turned down the proposal in November 2011, and 63 percent rejected it in June.

In October, the AFL-CIO called for a boycott of Crystal’s products. Some of the company’s sugar is sold in grocery stores under Crystal’s own label. It is sold as “Market Pantry” sugar in Target Corp. stores in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

via Locked-out Crystal Sugar workers reject contract 4th time; dispute would end if deal approved – 12/1/2012 8:22:12 PM | Newser.

UNION CONTRACT: Process Begins For State Workers | WHOTV.com – Des Moines news & weather from WHO Television

Friday starts the long process of getting a new contract for thousands of state employees in Iowa.

AFSCME is expected to present its initial bargaining positions to the Department of Administrative Services. In two weeks, the DAS will present its initial positions to AFSCME leaders.

Then the two sides will start negotiating.

Gov. Terry Branstad says he wants public employees to pay part of their health insurance premiums. AFSCME officials say that would have to be offset by pay increases.

The current AFSCME contract with the state expires in June.

via UNION CONTRACT: Process Begins For State Workers | WHOTV.com – Des Moines news & weather from WHO Television.