The Labor Center at the University of Iowa Law School has been serving Iowans since 1951 when it was established under Republican Gov. William S. Beardsley. Since that time, it has been supported by Republican Govs. Elthon, Hoegh, Erbe, Ray and Branstad and Democratic Govs. Loveless, Hughes, Fulton, Vilsack and Culver. It has only been under the anti-worker partisan leadership of Gov. Kim Reynolds that the Labor Center has been threatened with closure. Her budget cuts have created funding shortages at the University of Iowa that are being used to eliminate the Labor Center. Closing it would align the university with political forces that are against worker protection. If the university chooses that path, then why should workers in Iowa support the university?
Iowa workers, employers and unions have always been strong supporters of the university. In the past, the University of Iowa and its law school have stayed non-partisan, and have had strong support from all of Iowa, not just one party. Now, Gov. Reynolds and her anti-worker supporters are going against the bipartisan support of six Republican and five Democratic governors over 67 years with her attempts to eliminate the Labor Center.
During my 42 years with the U.S. labor movement, I had numerous positive contacts with the Labor Center as it served the needs of Iowa workers, employers, lawyers and unions. I urge you to keep the Labor Center open so that it can continue to provide its valuable service to the people of lowa.
Kevin E. O'Brien