For Immediate Release                                                Contact: Anthony DeAngelo

Iowa Working Family Summit on Raising Wages to Set Standard for 2016

Iowa summit will be followed by events in NH, SC, and NV

May 16, 2015 – While Republican candidates gathered to bicker over who will best represent the top 1 percent, working people were joined by progressive activists at the AFL-CIO’s first Working Families Summit on raising wages, aimed at setting the tone for 2016 as an election year focused on raising wages and worker rights.

“Iowa sets the table for the entire Presidential election, and we want to make sure that raising wages, good jobs, and strong rights for workers are on the menu,” said AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre. “There’s still so much work to be done to lift working people up in our country. Today’s summit and our summits in major battleground primary states will ensure that worker’s voices, not just big billionaire donors, will be heard.”

The summit was headlined by former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich who spoke about the need for candidates to focus on issues that speak to and would benefit the working class. Attendees also heard from Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen, and Jobs with Justice Executive Director, Sarita Gupta. Other key sponsors of the event include the Iowa Federation of Labor, Laborers International Union of Northern America (LIUNA), American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Working America.

“We can help to shape the presidential debate for 2016 to focus more on issues related to working families,” said Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “I want to see broader understanding of the number of issues from raising wages, to supporting families, to protecting civil rights, so that we all understand each other’s issues and can support each other.”

Today’s Iowa Working Families Summit was the first in a series of summits announced at the National Summit on Raising Wages in January. For more information on the AFL-CIO’s raising wages agenda, visit their website, here: