February 22, 2009

Democrats Highjack Iowa Statehouse for Union Protection Bill

Wage bill leads to weekend stay in Capitol
Last session the legislature was unsuccessful in killing Iowa's Right to Work Law. This year they are attempting to get in through the back door by requiring companies to pay union wages. When the democratic majority failed to garner the necessary votes they made the unprecedented move of holding the vote open over the weekend to give them time to strong arm democrats that failed to toe the union line.

From the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

DES MOINES — The vote on House File 333, which proposed to set a prevailing wage for some public construction projects, still stood at 50 “aye” and 47 “nay” Saturday after House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, ordered the voting machine held open until Monday afternoon to give representatives time to cast their votes or possibly think again. “There’s not going to be any pressure put on people,” Murphy said. “It gives them the chance to reconsider and change their minds...”

Murphy said the extraordinary strategy to hold the vote machine open was implemented because majority Democrats believe it is important to raise wage thresholds for middle-class Iowa workers as the state prepares to launch a raft of public infrastructure projects funded via the federal stimulus money or disaster recovery programs. Critics warned that the measure would add millions of dollars to the cost of public projects. Opponents also said the bill was a political payback to unions by Democrats who hold a 56-44 House majority.

The logic / obfuscation of Representative Rick Olson, D-Des Moines is stunning;

"A prevailing wage will reward middle-class families that put in the work of rebuilding our state after the historic floods and help our state grow out of the recession, while developing a highly-skilled work force ready for the jobs of the 21st century," said Rick Olson, D-Des Moines, who was to lead discussion on the bill."It will protect the jobs of local workers by stopping big corporations and construction companies who drive down wages by using low-skill laborers and illegal immigrants."

This has nothing to do with the middle class, last summers floods, or developing a skilled workforce. It is about making union shops competitive by government interference in a businesses wage and benefit structure. If the evil corporations are using low skilled labor or illegal immigrants there are already codes in place that address those issues. The legislature should be spending their time ensuring those laws are enforced instead of hindering businesses on behalf of unions donor.

No comments: