Organized Labor

Iowa Labor Collection / State Historical Society of Iowa Library-Iowa City

This program originally aired on Septmeber 5, 2019.

Since the late 1970s, the Iowa Labor History Oral Project has been collecting interviews from the working class across Iowa. They are collecting history from the ground up, as opposed to leaders or people with power.

RWDSU Local 110

More than 500 workers at Cedar Rapids’ General Mills plant have reached a tentative contract agreement. The deal comes after union members had been warning they might go on strike.

Katie Peikes / IPR

Labor union representatives in western Iowa say organized labor has been under attack, but they are continuing to fight for working people.

Roey Ahram via flickr creative commons /

Healthcare workers have filed suit against the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, alleging they aren’t being paid on time for extra work. The plaintiffs hope to have the case recognized as a class action, and say there are thousands of potential members who also not being paid in a timely fashion.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, speaks to protestors outside a McDonald's in Des Moines. The Democratic presidential candidate said he supports making $15-per-hour the national minimum wage.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Workers and union supporters were joined by New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio at a protest in front of a Des Moines McDonald's.

John Pemble/IPR file photo

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a 2017 law limiting bargaining rights for many state employees. In 4-3 rulings in two separate cases, the court denied arguments made by unions representing teachers and other public workers that the law violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution because it gives more bargaining rights to public safety workers.

Grinnell Students Drop Union Expansion Bid

Dec 14, 2018
Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers

Grinnell College students are dropping their bid to expand their union. That’s amid fears their case currently before a federal board could allow regulators to undo student union rights nationwide.Organizers and union members at private schools across the country are watching the case, and some encouraged the Grinnell students to withdraw. “Obviously no one here considers this to be a loss, “ said Cory McCartan, a representative for the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers.

Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers

An Iowa liberal arts college is challenging a vote by student workers to expand their union. The appeal puts Grinnell College and its student dining workers’ union in the thick of a national labor law debate.