For Immediate Release
April 19th 2018

Contact: Roger Ouellette 203-841-6711

April 19th 2018

Glasson calls for action, not words from Democrats on union rights

All Democratic gubernatorial candidates must now demand policies to make it easier for Iowans to join a union or employee organization no matter where they work

CEDAR RAPIDS – As the only Iowa gubernatorial candidate with a comprehensive plan to dramatically expand union rights for all workers, Cathy Glasson issued a clear challenge to her fellow Iowa Democrats today: “Kind words of support for our fight are not enough anymore. Giving speeches in the State House has failed. We need a Governor who will take real action and use all the powers of her office to strengthen and expand the ability of all Iowa workers to join together in unions for a voice on the job. It’s not enough for Democrats running for Governor and the Iowa Legislature to simply declare support for unions. It’s time for bold leaders to step forward and pledge to support progressive new policies that dramatically expand the number of union members in this state and country. Anything else is just lip service.”

Glasson’s senior advisor and veteran union organizer Brian Shepherd said her campaign is making expanding union rights a front and center issue in the campaign with TV ads and a statewide digital ad buy. “Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature’s attack on working people and their unions is an attack on our broader movement for a more equal country” Shepherd stated. “The movements for healthcare for all, raising the minimum wage, racial justice, clean air and water, immigration reform, education, LGBTQIA equality and other progress are strengthened when more working people are able to join together in unions. That’s why Cathy is running for Governor. It’s what she’s been fighting for from the very first day of this campaign.”

In addition to making a $15 minimum wage for Iowa workers a central part of her platform, Glasson unveiled a strong 5 point program on expanding union rights as part of her Bold Progressive Plan for Iowa:

1. Restoring Chapter 20 protections to bring back the union rights that were stripped away from 184,000 Iowa public sector workers.

2. Allowing Fair Share to strengthen public workers’ organizations.

3. Helping thousands more working people form a union by supporting the elimination of so-called “right-to-work laws” in Iowa.

4. Making sure workers can’t simply be fired “at will” on the whim of their bosses. A Just Cause law is one of the first basic steps Iowa must take to protect workers and their right to speak out and organize in their workplaces.

5. Developing innovative new policies to allow workers to join together in unions and employee organizations including:

A. Requiring employers to let workers voluntary contribute to Nonprofit Worker Organizations (NWOs) and political organizations through payroll deduction.

B. Partnering with unions and Nonprofit Worker Organizations (NWOs) to combat wage theft in low-wage industries through employer-facilitated worksite-based training and enforcement.

C. Creating new state and local commissions responsible for monitoring or setting wage and labor standards in low-wage industries.

Cathy Glasson, 59, is the President of SEIU Local 199 representing thousands of nurses, health care workers and school support employees across Iowa. She is a registered nurse who worked in the intensive care unit at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she led the effort to unionize her fellow nurses 18 years ago. She lives in Coralville, Iowa with her husband Matt, a labor educator.