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News Brief

Feb. 26, 2024 |  By: Mark Moran - Public News Service

Labor organizers push back on 'union-busting' bill

labor union

By Mark Moran - Public News Service

Labor organizers are pushing back on a measure in the Iowa Legislature they say is designed to undermine unions.

It would create an additional step in order for a labor union to be certified by the state.

Senate Study Bill 3158, introduced by the Republican majority, would require public employers that hire union-backed workers to submit a list of employees who are in the bargaining unit to the state within 10 days of a union recertification election.

If they fail to do so, the state will immediately decertify the union, unless the union takes the employer to court.

American Federation of Labor (AFL) Iowa chapter President Charlie Wishman called the bill a clear attempt to disrupt unions.

"If they're not sending in the list, why are they punishing the union by saying that the union needs to take the employer to court?" said Wishman. "It's just totally upside down, on its face."

Supporters of the measure claim the state had not been getting union membership information in a timely manner from more than 40% of companies holding recertification elections, and that this measure would fix that.

Wishman said unions have addressed that issue and claim it's no longer a problem.

Wishman suggested the bill would further burden an already overloaded court system at taxpayer expense.

"This is creating confusion," said Wishman, "and it is going to create more court cases, and it is creating more bureaucracy that didn't need to be there."

Study Bill 3158 awaits action in the Iowa Senate.