Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 5, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 8/30/11

In this edition:

*Happy Labor Day!
*Labor Day Picnic
*Go Hawks!
*Fry Fest
*Regina Fall Fun Festival
*Sutliff Bridge Authority Fundraiser
*United Way Kick Off
*Did You Know?

*Happy Labor Day!
Happy Labor Day next Monday! I love Labor Day. Every Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day we set aside time to recall the folks whose service has given us our freedom. I have long felt we need to treat Labor Day in a similar fashion.

Please take a moment this Labor Day to remember the people who fought (and often died) to give us child labor laws, 40 hour weeks, weekends, overtime, vacations, the minimum wage, sick leave, parental leave, OSHA, employment nondiscrimination, pensions, Social Security, health insurance, and so much more.

Do not be fooled! These benefits were not GIVEN to workers by benevolent corporations! They were earned by workers who sacrificed! It is a shame that so many average Joes have chosen to support our corporate masters versus supporting those whose efforts really benefit the masses.

Unions continue to provide the best protection working people can have. I feel as though I have accomplished some good things as a member of the Board of Supervisors. One of the accomplishments of which I am most proud is starting an employee appreciation lunch every year the week of Labor Day. Johnson County employees deserve much more, but this is one extra opportunity to say thank you.

Trust me – the average person has nothing to fear from unions. We all benefit when folks have safe and healthy workplaces. We all benefit when workers get adequate rest. We all benefit when workers receive good training. We all benefit when folks earn a living wage and have health insurance. Unions help improve the quality of life for all of us.

One example of a way in which unions benefit everyone: much is made of the automobile industry expanding into the southern US. While these are not union plants, workers still have good wages and benefits. Some see this as an indictment of unions. It is precisely the opposite.

Do not think for a minute that these companies pay $22 per hour because they WANT to. They would be much happier to pay $4 per hour. And, when China’s workforce improves in quality to the point that they can do automotive work, the companies will move there.

Understand – big companies exists for one reason, and that is to earn a profit. If the laws allowed slavery, companies would use it. Because it is cheaper.

So why do they pay $22 in the southern US? Because of the threat of the United Auto Workers (UAW). If the wages or benefits ever sink too low, UAW could unionize those workers. The car companies don’t want that, so they pay the lowest possible acceptable wage.

See? The UAW does not represent the workers at those plants. But they have driven up the wages and benefits for the workers there all the same.

I am proud to be a member of Local 716 of the American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the Iowa City Federation of Labor. Happy Labor Day!

*Labor Day Picnic
The Iowa City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, will host its annual Labor Day picnic on Monday, September 5, starting at 12 Noon at Upper City Park, shelter 2. Burgers, brats, veggie options and beverages provided. Political speeches and a good time guaranteed. Free to all Friends of Labor. For more information call Patrick Hughes, President, Iowa City Federation of Labor, 319-828-4541.

*Go Hawks!
The Iowa Hawkeyes kick off their 2011 football season this weekend in Kinnick Stadium versus Tennessee Tech.

I am a huge Hawkeye fan. But every year at this time, I caution my fellow Hawk fans. The Hawks will be good; perhaps very good. Just be careful with expectations.

Much as I love Hawkeye football, my favorite part of the experience is spending quality time with great friends. So, keep things in perspective – enjoy the season – and GO HAWKS!

*Fry Fest
The celebration of all that is Hawkeye – Fry Fest! – takes place this Friday at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville.

This year’s event has a Dan Gable focus, celebrating the career of our former wrestling coach. For all the event details, see:

*Regina Fall Festival
Iowa City’s Catholic community holds its biggest fundraiser of the year this weekend with the annual Fall Festival.

This is always a fun community event – there are hundreds of things going on all weekend on school grounds. Check it out!

*Sutliff Bridge Authority Fundraiser
The Sutliff Bridge Authority is holding its annual Labor Day street dance fundraiser this Sunday, September 4 from 12-5.

There will be food, drink, music, prizes, and it all goes toward restoring and maintaining the historic Sutliff Bridge. For more info, see:

*United Way Kick Off
The United Way of Johnson County holds its annual kick off on September 1st at 7:30 AM at the Marriott.

It is really very simple. If you are reading this, you are among the more fortunate people in our community. Give. Then give some more.

*DID YOU KNOW? John L. Lewis, the President of the United Mine Workers from 1920-1960 was born in southern Iowa. Lewis is credited with dramatically increasing on-the-job safety for workers in all occupations.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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