Guess again, it’s about the Union Bosses, and they are pissed off.
Change to Win Iowa to confront the Principal Financial Group for their questionable involvement with Iowa Association of Business and Industry
(Des Moines) - With the Treasury Department poised to approve the second round of TARP funds, Change to Win has registered its opposition to granting assistance to the Principal Financial Group, which has applied for up to $2 billion under TARP. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Change to Win chair Anna Burger said, Unless and until Treasury can assure hardworking taxpayers that our money is not being used against us, firms like Principal that engage in extensive, gratuitous lobbying are undeserving of TARP assistance.
Change to Win Iowa will be confronting executive officers of the Principal Financial Group at their downtown Des Moines building at 11:00 this morning with a letter from Iowa officers of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the Service Employees International Union. Change to Win Iowas dispute with the Principal Financial Group derives from their involvement with the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). The ABI has been running an extremely negative and wholly false radio advertisement campaign against a number of pieces of legislation that would benefit Iowa workers.
Merle Peterson, the vice president of government affairs for the Principal Financial Group sits on the ABI board of directors. In 2008, Principal paid ABI $15,000 in membership fees. The ask from Change to Win Iowa is to stop the false radio advertising and drop their membership with ABI. They should not be using their $2 billion of tax payers money to fight bills that benefit Iowa workers and have zero impact on their company.
The text of Change to Win Iowas letter to Principal is pasted below:
February 23, 2009
Dear Mr. Vice-President
The Iowa members of Change to Win are asking for your help. Principal Financial is an important part of our Iowa economy and has a reputation for being a very good employer. In fact, Principals reputation for standing up for the civil rights of their employees is honorable. In many instances we have sat on the same side of the fight for human rights.
But Principals complicit role in anti-worker messaging is intolerable. As active members of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and through the board membership of Merle Petersen, you contribute significant resources to, and facilitate discrimination against members of organized labor.
In these dire financial times, vehemently opposing statutory changes that would empower workers and improve wages for ordinary Iowansnurses, food workers, laborers, police officersis unconscionable. Additionally, Principal Financial is the steward of the retirement resources of many Change to Win members. The same workers who ABI has opposed in their search for a secure middle class existence have been willing to support Principal Financial with their tax dollars.
Principal has the opportunity to influence ABI and help workers. We ask you today to terminate your ABI membership and/or stop the following hostile and false radio ad:
"Once upon a time, a band of union bosses roamed the Iowa countryside threatening hardworking people while claiming to do good deeds. (Sound of ripping paper.) Union bosses in Iowa are writing a very scary fairy tale. They want to make you pay union dues even if you're not a union member. The unions want to fix the cost on every public construction project, and strip our local school boards of their authority. And the unions want to control health care for Iowa workers. Their greed will cost you hundreds of dollars out of your paycheck. It will force local governments deeper in debt and raise our property taxes. It will drive up our health care costs. Please call your legislator today at (515) 281-3221 and tell them this is no fairy tale. Tell them in this story, hardworking Iowans will not live happily ever after."
We also ask you to speak out in our support. We suspect that you know as well as we do that the enactment of Fair Share will have no impact on economic development in Iowa. Please tell the truth and help your clients and benefactors win Fair Share in Iowa.
Jerry Messer, UFCW Sarah Swisher, SEIU Pat Navin, IBT
Quad Cities Iowa City Winterset
More to follow.