The Iowa Federation of Labor released a 27-hundred signature petition Monday calling for an increase in the minimum wage — while also attacking the republican candidate for governor.
I-F-L president Mark Smith says the goal is to let Iowa’s congressional and gubernatorial candidates know the minimum wage increase is a top issue in the November campaign.
Smith says the union members that signed the petitions are “angry”. He says, “They’re angry that Republicans in the Congress refused to raise the minimum wage while repeatedly giving themselves generous pay raises. Not one of those members that signed those petition works for the minimum wage, but every one of them knows that you can’t make it on minimum wage in this country.”
Smith says roughly one quarter of a million Iowans earn the five-dollar and 15-cent minimum wage. Smith says if Congress won’t raise the minimum wage, the state should. Smith says a key issue in the election is what a congressional candidate would do on a straight minimum wage vote.
Smith was critical of the recent failed vote on the minimum raise increase. Smith says, “We’re angry because we know that our representatives in Congress, including Jim Nussle are trying to play us for suckers.” Smith says the vote on the minimum wage bill that fail was a “sham vote” to provide “political cover” for republicans who he says have a longstanding opposition to the minimum wage.
Nussle is running for governor and released a statement in response saying he does favor raising the minimum wage in Iowa and Nussle says the increase is long overdue. Nussle’s democrat opponent, Chet Culver, was also at the I-F-L event and also criticized Nussle.