When we first read about Project Labor Agreements (PLA) and SSB 1145 working it's way through the Iowa Legislature we were intrigued as to what it meant for business, tax payers and workers. Greg Spenner from Associated Builders and Contractors contacted our office with a request to come on the air and discuss the bill and his organization. We set a date for the studio interview. After reading the documents from Mr. Spenner we then reached out to the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council (ISBCTC) president Bill Gerhard and asked if he would join us for a "point/counter-point" conversation. When we informed Mr. Spenner of this his group declined the offer. That is the back-story to this conversation.
Our guests are Andy Roberts Business Manager of the Plumbers and Fitters Local 33 and ISBCTC Vice President and Bill Gerhard, President of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council. We discuss local control, safety, costs, apprenticeship programs and jobs. We think you'll find this interesting...
Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie is the only weekday, hour-long business broadcast in the Midwest. The national, regional and local business news along with long-form business interviews can be heard Monday - Friday starting at 5:05pm on AM-940. The Business News Hour is a production of Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications through a business relationship with The Des Moines Radio Group. You can follow us on Twitter @IoB_NewsHour.
We sat for over an hour with Robert Reich former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton listening to his formula for getting the Middle-Class back to a position of security. (We'll have a more in-depth report later.) In this segment Secretary Reich outlines the three ways the United States can revive the economy and working families.
The Business News Hour attended the Working Families Summit recently held in Ames at Iowa State University. Since we've started the News Hour we've talked about the economy, where the economy gets its "juice" and the business/labor divide. Here are some comments from the president of the Communication Workers of America, Larry Cohen about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Fast Track, Hillary Clinton, working with the GOP and a couple of thoughts from our regular contributor Desmund Adams regarding how business and labor might work together.
Just this week we noticed something called the Working Family Summit something that is being sponsored by Progress Iowa among other groups. Within 8 days of announcing the event registration was closed because the event reached it's maximum capacity. We wanted to know more so we put in a call to Matt Sinovic from Progress Iowa for details.
One of the constants we report on is stagnant wages for the vast majority of Americans. Just today we learned that wages in Q1 grew by only .2% and analysts suggest the stagnant wage growth is at the heart of the slow economic recovery. We've also reported on how corporations are stockpiling cash and the impact overseas manufacturing continues to have on our domestic economy. It seemed like a good time to reach out and hear from the labor unions to get their perspective. Ken Sagar is the president of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL/CIO we talked about a wide ranging set of issues including the "Fast Track" President Obama wants when it comes to trade deals.
Last year 39 Iowans died from work related injuries. Each year trade unions mark April 28th as an International Day of Mourning. We were there for the reading of the 39 names and then a brief conversation with Mark Cooper the president of the South Central Federation of Labor AFL/CIO for insight as to the meaning of the event.