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Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO to Governor: Ending pandemic unemployment benefits does not address long or short term workforce shortages


This news story was published on May 12, 2021.
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Charlie Wishman at a labor picnic in Mason City.

DES MOINES Charlie Wishman, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, condemned Republican Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds for turing away millions of dollars in federal unemployment money for Iowans out of work:

It is shameful that our Governor can hurt people with such ease. Ending Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a terrible decision by this Governor and shows a misunderstanding of what’s actually going on in Iowa’s economy in the short and long term. The unemployment program has been in place nationwide since March of 2020. Congress, in a bi-partisan vote, wisely expanded our social safety net to cover the self-employed, gig workers, freelancers and others who didn’t previously qualify for jobless benefits in addition to the thousands of Iowans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

What we’re really dealing with is a long-term problem in Iowa. Our workforce shortage problems need to be addressed, but cutting unemployment isn’t the answer. While our state government in Iowa has done everything possible to ensure Iowa is a low-wage state, that hasn’t attracted workers to want to come here. In fact, this isn’t a problem that’s going away any time soon. As our baby-boom generation ages and is retiring, replacing them in the workforce means that Iowa will have to attract workers from other places to fill those gaps. Demographically, there just aren’t enough people to take care of this aging generation in their senior years, let alone fill the gaps in the workforce they leave behind.

Cutting unemployment is punitive and doesn’t solve our problems in the long term. Iowa needs to change its course economically, take steps to raise wages and benefits, make Iowa a good place to raise a family, and actually invest in our education instead of defunding it. Steps like these seem obvious, but they haven’t occurred to our Governor yet. Finding quick solutions that play well to a Fox News crowd is one thing, actually addressing our economic concerns in a reality based way is another, and we urge the Governor to do the latter.

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Charlie Wishman
President, Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO

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23 Responses to Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO to Governor: Ending pandemic unemployment benefits does not address long or short term workforce shortages

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 14, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    maybe get some answers

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 14, 2021 at 9:06 am

    The teachers unions are the most corrupt of all
    They don’t care about teaching our young the truth. They want to teach their own ideas of America. All they are is a branch of the socialist Democrats.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 14, 2021 at 9:02 am

    What else would you expect from the communist AFL-CIO Union. Decertify all unions. The world will be a better place.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 15, 2021 at 7:08 am

      And you all would be making $5.00 an hour while corporate gets richer.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 15, 2021 at 10:40 am

        That what he is making picking up pop cans. He considers himself a business owner right along side the rest of the peons who work peanuts because we shouldn’t tax rich people.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 15, 2021 at 6:02 pm

          At least he is not living off the gov’t

          • Anonymous

            May 15, 2021 at 8:29 pm

            Wanna bet? Making little or no money equals no insurance which leaves the taxpayers with the bill. At that wage, housing is non-existent except for government-subsidized and that is difficult to gain admittance. At that wage, owning a car is not advised because insurance and license costs are going up quickly. Gas is expensive. So, let’s find some other way to work. Can’t buy enough food at that price so ask for food stamps. So on and so on. Being poor isn’t easy. I imagine the post person was being humorous but being poor isn’t funny either. No insurance, no home, no car, no food. It will take a long, long time for this person to make it up to even if he does. Most will die owing a lot of people a lot of money.

          • Anonymous

            May 16, 2021 at 11:56 am

            The point is he is trying, more than some do

  4. Donkey > Elephant Reply Report comment

    May 13, 2021 at 11:22 am

    how can a two time drunk driver never before elected to office be qualified to lead an entire state

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 13, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      AND
      Dianne Feinstein = 60 years
      Chuck Schumer = 45 years
      Maxine Waters = 47 years
      Patrick Leahy = 54 years
      Nancy Pelosi = 33 years

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 15, 2021 at 10:45 pm

      I thought you liked Pence. You shouldn’t talk about him that way.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 13, 2021 at 1:45 am

    DDW’s (dont want to work) will have to get a job now

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    The jobs are there. Unemployment is like any addiction. The more you receive it, the more you need it. It’s time to make people stand on their own two feet.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 12, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      Nitwit! The jobs AREN’T there unless it’s for peanuts like I make while working like a slave just to not be fired!

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 12, 2021 at 7:16 pm

        So you would rather live off everyone else, rather than better yourself and have some pride and dignity

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm

          Uh, hey dumb person, read what I wrote, I already work and for peanuts!

          • Anonymous

            May 14, 2021 at 1:08 pm

            hey dumber person, maybe you need a better job

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm

        You should have thought about your future instead of quitting school, drinking all night and sleeping until noon! LOSER.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm

          I’m a grandma with arthritis, you fool. Maybe you should judge others by what YOU yourself do.

          • Anonymous

            May 14, 2021 at 7:18 am

            Wal Marts hiring!

          • Anonymous

            May 14, 2021 at 9:00 am

            Just because you are a grandma doesn’t mean you have a education or a brain.

          • Anonymous

            May 18, 2021 at 6:55 am

            a grandma with that attitude, breeds more with the same attitude.