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Trying to Save the UI Labor Center

The effort to save the University of Iowa's Labor Center comes to the Quad Cities Wednesday night. Unions and their supporters will hold a public hearing, as they try to reverse the university's decision to close the 67 year old center.

The university blames falling state support.

Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, says since 1951, the center has helped working people in Iowa learn about federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. And state laws on workers and unemployment compensation.

"There are schools of business on all three Regents campuses but in all of the three Regents schools combined, there is only one small center that provides continuing opportunity for education for working people."

The center has a staff of five and an annual budget of 560,000 dollars. 

Wednesday night's public hearing on the Labor Center will be held at the Steelworkers Hall in Bettendorf at 6 pm. And it's the third of at least six public hearings it supporters plan to hold across the state. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.