Iowans Declare September Labor Union Appreciation Month


Iowans are speaking out in support of recognizing September as Labor Union Appreciation Month. More than sixty elected officials, organizations, and businesses have signed on to the effort at

A proclamation recognizing September as Labor Union Appreciation Month will be requested from the office of Governor Kim Reynolds, as well as from cities and counties across the state. Supporters of Labor Union Appreciation Month will also attend events and share information about the important role labor unions have had and continue to have in Iowa and across the country.

“We know that public support for labor unions is strong, and that’s because workers everywhere want some dignity and respect on the job,” said Danny Homan, President of AFSCME Council 61. “At the end of the day, that’s what we’re here fighting for every day.”

“Labor unions have been an avenue to the middle class for millions of Americans for many years,” said Senator Amanda Ragan. “That is one of the reasons I believe they are important to our country.”

“I’m very thankful for the opportunities than union membership has provided three generations of my family and families all across Iowa. There has never been a time in our country’s history that more unions and more union jobs were more needed in our workforce. Unions are why we have a middle class in this country,” said Senator Claire Celsi.

“As an educator, every school district I’ve taught in (four states, four districts) has had a strong Union,” said Representative Art Staed. “The welfare of students and teachers in their learning/working place was always the priority. Strong unions build safe, healthy, and equitable work environments.”

“Every month should be Labor Union Appreciation Month, just as every day is really Labor Day,” said Mike Owen, executive director of the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project. “People work every day, and we all depend on that. We will only truly demonstrate our appreciation when we use public policy to make sure everyone is paid adequately, that they are paid what they are owed, they are protected on the job, that their families have health care, and that they have an opportunity for a secure retirement.”

“Labor unions are regularly the unsung heroes in our country,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “They fight for working families to have better pay and better lives, and every one of us benefits, because we all have higher wages, safer workplaces, and more quality of life as a result. If you like having paid sick leave, vacation days, or things as basic as child labor laws, you should thank a union. And if you want working families to have a seat at the table when it comes to determining the future of our state and country, you should support labor unions.”

List of Partner Organizations, Elected Officials, and Businesses

AFSCME Council 61

APWU Waterloo Local 451

Black Hawk Union Assembly

Central Iowa Neighbors

Citizens for a Healthy Iowa

GPS Impact

Greenwood Media Services

Hawkeye Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Hedberg & Boulton, P.C.

Indivisible Iowa

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Iowa Main Street Alliance

Iowa Policy Project

Iowa Postal Workers Union

Iowa River Labor Coalition

Iowa Safe Schools

Iowa State Education Association

Iowa Voices

I Work & Play

Josh Mandelbaum, Des Moines City Council

Midvale Pinacotheca

North Iowa Nine Labor Assembly

One Iowa

One Voice Message & Media

Pinpoint Digital

Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa

Progress Iowa

Rep. Marti Anderson

Rep. Karin Derry

Rep. Molly Donahue

Rep. Tracy Ehlert

Rep. Chris Hall

Rep. Chuck Isenhart

Rep. Jennifer Konfrst

Rep. Bob Kressig

Rep. Monica Kurth

Rep. Vicki Lensing

Rep. Mary Mascher

Rep. Heather Matson

Rep. Amy Nielsen

Rep. Todd Prichard

Rep. Art Staed

Rep. Sharon Steckman

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell

Rep. Mary Wolfe

Ben Rogers, Linn County Supervisor

Rush & Nicholson

Sen. Joe Bolkcom

Sen. Claire Celsi

Sen. Eric Giddens

Sen. Rob Hogg

Sen. Pam Jochum

Sen. Kevin Kinney

Sen. Janet Petersen

Sen. Amanda Ragan

Sen. Jackie Smith

Sen. Zach Wahls

Smith & McElwain

South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Rod Sullivan, Johnson County Supervisor

Tax March Iowa

Teamsters Local 238

Tri-City Building & Construction Trades Council

Stacey Walker, Linn County Supervisor

Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO