Iowans Again Defeat Forced-Union-Fee Scheme

But Hawkeye State’s Popular Right to Work Law Still Under Fire

(Source: May 2010 NRTWC Newsletter

Over the past four years, union lobbyists in Des Moines employed every conceivable tactic to ram through the Hawkeye State Legislature legislation gutting Iowa’s popular, six-decade-old Right to Work law.

Again and again, union officials have threatened to recruit and bankroll primary challengers to run against Democratic legislators who refused to back forced union fees.

This March, one union lobbyist is even alleged to have told a state lawmaker, “You could have $100,000 in your account to fight off any challenger,” if he switched his position and voted for the forced-union-fee bill then pending in the Legislature.

However, the National Right to Work Committee and its grass-roots ally, the Des Moines-based Iowans for Right to Work Committee, energized freedom-loving Iowans to fight back every step of the way.

And this spring, the Big Labor politicians who run the Iowa House and Senate finally backed down and adjourned the 2010 session without ever bringing up for a vote H.F.2420, the Right to Work-gutting measure introduced in the 2009-10 Legislature.

Union Bosses Remain Determined To Destroy Right to Work Law

Not taking anything for granted, the National Right To Work Committee legislative department kept the heat on until the Iowa Legislature called it quits after an unusually short 2010 session on Tuesday, March 30.

And the battle to save Iowa’s Right to Work law is far from over even now.

“Top union bosses in Des Moines and international union politicos in Washington, D.C., remain grimly determined to destroy Iowa’s Right to Work law,” explained National Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.

“Although, thanks to Right to Work supporters’ dedication, the union bosses failed to realize their long-sought objective in 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010, they hope that, by intimidating the legislators who have stood in their way up to now, they will be able to muster the votes they need in 2011.

“In this year’s June 8 primaries, union strategists are targeting for defeat Coralville state Rep. David Jacoby, one of just a handful of Democrat legislators who refused to pledge to vote for H.F.2420.

“Ironically, Rep. Jacoby is actually a forced-unionism advocate. But the scope of forced union fees authorized by H.F.2420 was wider than even he could swallow.

“Because of that minor deviation, Iowa union bigwigs are now pouring resources into the campaign of Mr. Jacoby’s 100% pro-forced unionism primary challenger, John Stellmach.

“But earlier, according to Mr. Jacoby, when Big Labor was still hoping to get his vote, union lobbyist Marcia Nichols promised his campaign $100,000 in exchange for backing H.F.2420.”

Ms. Nichols denies the charge. But she also refuses to disclose exactly what she did say to Mr. Jacoby. “I have a lot of conversations with legislators,” she told the Des Moines Register last month. “They’re just personal conversations. I don’t feel comfortable discussing them in the newspaper.”

Forced Union Fees Would Hurt Iowa’s Economy

Mr. Leen predicted that voters’ passionate opposition to any scheme to weaken Iowa’s Right to Work law would be a key factor in this fall’s statewide and state legislative elections.

“Gutting Iowa’s Right to Work law would harm the state’s economy as well as its independent-minded employees,” he added.

“From 2004 through 2009, real personal income grew by 4.4% in Iowa and 6.4% in Midwestern Right to Work states as a group, but just 0.4% in Midwestern forced-unionism states as a group.

“Over the same period, private-sector employment grew by 0.9% in Iowa and 2.2% in Midwestern Right to Work states overall, but fell by 5.6% in Midwestern forced-unionism states.”

To help ensure Iowans retain their vital Right to Work protections, the National Committee and its allies will be reminding freedom-loving Iowans this fall where their candidates stand on the forced-unionism issue, and mobilizing them to contact their candidates, again and again.

“Informed, well-mobilized citizens can unshackle the Iowa Legislature from Big Labor control this fall, and ensure the state’s Right to Work law remains in full force in 2011 and beyond,” Mr. Leen concluded.