Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack and republican legislators have declared at least a cease fire in the controversy about a Polk County labor contract republicans hate but unions like. The so-called “project labor agreement” for construction of the Iowa Events Center promises union members higher wages and the unions, in turn, promise not to strike. Republicans say it defeats the concept of competitive bidding for public projects. Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack says republicans have a point there, and he’s willing to try to come up with another kind of labor contract that promises a “prevailing” wage, with a guarantee the work will be done quickly and be of high quality. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City met with Vilsack yesterday, and says there has been a break-through. There will be a public hearing at the statehouse Tuesday night on the subject. Rants says the Governor’s statements have changed the dynamics for that event. He says it puts people on notice that the bill is not “dead on arrival.”G-O-P legislators want to quickly pass a law on the subject and make all “Vision Iowa” investments, like the one for the Iowa Events Center, subject to the new kind of labor agreement. A “right to work” group has filed a lawsuit challenging Polk County’s Iowa Events Center labor agreement.
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