The Iowa Association of Business and Industry has launched an ad campaign to protest union-backed bills which are under consideration in the legislature.
Charles Sukup, president of Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield, is chairman of the business group’s board of directors. "Our members are very concerned about the direction and multitude of bills being introduced that are going to have a very detrimental effect on business," Sukup says.
The 1400 companies that are members of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry have collectively produced a radio ad attacking "union bosses" who the business group accuses of "writing a very scary" wish list of bills. Sukup says if those union-backed bills become law, property taxes will go up and health care costs for businesses with go up at least five percent. "Seems to me the last thing you want to do is make it harder on business to expand and take care of their employees here," Sukup says.
A bill that would require a "prevailing wage" for those who work on most taxpayer-funded construction projects in Iowa is scheduled for debate in the Iowa House on Thursday. Another labor-related bill under consideration would expand the topics union workers may bring up during contract negotiations. Governor Culver vetoed a similar bill last year, and Sukup says his business group is hoping to fight an "uphil battle" and kill what he calls a "perfect storm" of union-backed bills.
"We need to get the word out to people and explain the dire circumstances because things can very quickly happen here at the capitol and then we have to live with them for years and years thereafter and then people slowly wake up to the consequences," Sukup says. "…We’re scared to death by what we’re seeing (in) some of these proposals."
Sukup’s company makes grain bins and grain dryers, and employs about 330. Sukup was among three business executives who held a news conference at the statehouse today to lodge specific complaints about what they called "a wide range of bad bills" that expand the illnesses and conditions which insurance policies must cover — things like substance abuse treatment and eating disorders.
Listen to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry radio ad by clicking on the audio link below.