Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack will veto a bill passed this week by the republican-controlled legislature. The bill would ban so-called project labor agreements on projects that get state grants from the “Vision Iowa” program. The agreements guarantee a standard wage for workers, if the workers agree not to strike, guarantee the quality of their work and promise to finish on schedule. Republicans say they unfairly favor union workers. Vilsack, who has strong union backing, says he was willing to compromise, but the G-O-P wasn’t. Vilsack says it was an opportunity to make a statement about quality and timeliness of work, but he says republicans weren’t wiling to discuss the issue.Vilsack says he would have signed a bill that would have guaranteed the rights of non-union workers to land jobs on construction projects, while at the same time ensuring quality of work and timeliness.The bill didn’t outlaw project labor agreements for private sector construction, and Vilsack says that’s another flaw. He says the public sector should have the same rights as the private sector. He says there’s also ongoing litigation on the matter that they shouldn’t get involved in.”Right to work” groups have sued, trying to knock down the project labor agreement Polk County has signed for the Iowa Events Center.
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