Letter to the Editor

Employment abuse

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dear Editor,

I hate to butt into Storm Lake city business, but I am very concerned about the superbly sad situation in town regarding recently hired staff. When our twenty newest city employees first started their jobs, they looked blissfully happy as they competently and cheerfully worked on clearing brush from an extremely overgrown area. However, that was before they realized that the stipulations of their labor are highly inequitable compared to that of other city workers.

F irst of all, these employees were hired at wages of only $2 per day, and if you do the math - no, you don't need a calculator, that only works out to 25 cents per hour - if they are limited to eight hour shifts. Obviously that is much less than the State of Iowa legal minimum wage of $7.25. Then there are absolutely no allowances of extra pay being offered for overtime or weekends, along with a total lack of normal worker benefits such as sick leave, 401k plans, and health insurance -- where are the Obama Care advocates when we need them? And I was also dismayed to realize that these diligent and dedicated employees are not allotted time during their shifts for any breaks whatsoever. In fact, I didn't notice a coffee machine or rest area anywhere on site.

These deplorable labor conditions put these workers in the category of such miserable drudges as workhands from "The Jungle."

It is intolerable that our city officials are allowing this abysmal abuse to happen, and I think they are acting like a bunch of bully goats.