Iowa Federation of Labor leaders are reacting angrily to Republican-led efforts to force state economic development officials to tout Iowa’s “Right-to-Work” law. The law bars forced union dues in a business where there’s a union bargaining for all workers’ wages. Democrat Governor Vilsack ordered “Right-to-Work” references out of state literature. Iowa Federation of Labor president Mark Smith today attacked republicans during a statehouse news conference. Smith says “they ought to quit messing around micromanaging state government. They ought to quit worrying about what’s in economic development literature and deal with some of the shameful facts, that Iowa’s 38th in the country in terms of wages. Smith is pushing an increase in the minimum wage. He says Iowa’s average annual pay is five thousand dollars less than the U-S annual pay.House Speaker Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs says he and his fellow republicans make no apologies for their goal of getting “Right-to-Work” references back in state brochures.Siegrist says republican legislators promised during the 2000 campaign they’d make the “Right-to-Work” move and the people voted for them. Republicans retained control of both house of the legislature despite an all-out effort by Democrats, including the governor.
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