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Union Denounces Prison Labor

Iowa DOC officials are aggressively marketing prison labor to private firms, with a goal of placing prisoners in at least 650 private-sector jobs. Iowa prisoners currently make license plates, produce furniture for government offices, and do telemarketing to promote Iowa tourism.

They also make sandwiches for sale in vending machines, and work for companies such as Heartland Communications (telemarketing) and Misty Harbor (building components for mechanical boat-lifts).

Union officials denounced the scheme to expand prisoner labor into more private-sector jobs.

"If prison labor is wrong in China," said Mark Smith of the Iowa AFL-CIO, "it sure as hell is wrong in Iowa."

Source: Socialist Worker [published bi-weekly, subscriptions are $25 ($40 Institutional) from: Socialist Worker; PO Box 16085; Chicago, IL 60616].

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