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After decades of decline, Iowa sees union activity surging

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

On this week's Newsbuzz edition, hear about labor organizing, charges related to January 6, COVID-19 vaccine trials and more.

Workers in Decorah are organizing at Seed Savers Exchange. The United Auto Workers in Burlington are on strike at CNH Industrial (CNHi). And student workers in Grinnell unionize at their own college.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Iowa Starting Line's Amie Rivers about this union activity and why the conditions of the moment might lend these efforts some steam.

Also this hour, the Register's Philip Joens discusses how an Adel man became the eighth charged in 2021 Capitol riot; The Gazette's Michaela Ramm on a new vaccine trial the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is participating in; we say "hello" to new midday host Tony Sarabia; writer Khadija Abdalla Bajaber reads her story "Little Goat;" and IPR Studio One host Tony Dehner grooves into the weekend with new music from Wilco and Iowa's own Jordan Sellergren.


  • Philip Joens, covers breaking news for the Des Moines Register
  • Amie Rivers, eastern Iowa reporter for Iowa Starting Line
  • Michaela Ramm, covers health for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, on the UIHC participating in a trial that will look at the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine boosters
  • Tony Sarabia, midday host for IPR
  • Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, novelist and poet in residence at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program
  • Tony Dehner, host of IPR’s Studio One
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa