Iowa’s public employees are stickin’ with their union (and just foiled a right-wing attack)

One of the most transparent union-busting provisions of Iowa’s new collective bargaining law has failed to significantly reduce the number of workers covered by the state’s two largest public-sector unions: the Iowa State Education Association and AFSCME Council 61.

Unofficial results posted today by the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board show large majorities of public employees voted to continue to be represented by their unions.

The new law forced public-sector unions to be recertified by every bargaining unit before every contract period (in most cases every two or three years). Adding to the burden, unions must receive “yes” votes from a majority of covered employees. Anyone who does not participate in the election is counted as a vote against the union.

AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan wasn’t far off the mark when he said today, “There’s not one Republican in this state that could win an election under the rules they gave us.”

Republicans pretended they were only trying to give workers more of a voice in their representation.

Republicans succeeded in making labor unions devote substantial resources and energy to these elections, but they didn’t diminish the unions’ bargaining power by much.

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