Tick Tock: 707 Days Without a Budget
AFL-CIO Backs JB Pritzker for Governor, Readies to End Rauner’s War on The Illinois Labor Movement
Chicago, IL – Yesterday, on day 706 without a state budget, the AFL-CIO endorsed JB Pritzker for governor. The Illinois AFL-CIO represents nearly 900,000 members across the state and is one of the strongest voices in Illinois for working families.
AFL-CIO is one of 16 Illinois unions that have now endorsed JB and are ready to bring Rauner’s war on the labor movement to a swift end. Throughout his time in office, Bruce Rauner has held this state hostage, in a reckless attempt to cripple unions and attack working families.
Let’s take a look:
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS
Just a month after Rauner’s inauguration, he began his attacks on the basic rights of Illinois workers to organize and collectively bargain. Rauner announced that he would no longer obey the statute requiring the state to collect “fair share” fees from public employees, essentially breaking the law to hurt unions. Rauner’s attacks continued from there, leading to an over 700 day budget crisis as he holds Illinois hostage until his demands to weaken collective bargaining become law.
RIGHT TO WORK
Unable to force damaging right to work legislation at the state level, Rauner attempted to circumvent the legislature and implement what he called “empowerment zones” at the local level. Empowerment, in this case, meant Rauner pushing conservative counties to unilaterally weaken unions and drive down wages.
Bruce Rauner is committed to repealing the state’s Prevailing Wage Act. The legislation requires that contractors on publicly financed projects pay their workers union rates. Research shows repealing the law results in minimal to no savings and has a net negative impact on the economy, but that hasn’t stopped Bruce Rauner from trying to drive down the wages of Illinois workers.
Worker’s compensation benefits provide Illinois workers injured on the job the resources they need to recover. Rauner has consistently worked to undermine and limit this compensation, claiming it’s good for business. What Rauner’s reforms would actually do is take money out of the hands of Illinois workers and small businesses and help line the pockets of large insurance companies.
“AFL-CIO and working families are standing with JB to bring an end to Bruce Rauner’s destructive attacks on the labor movement,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “From pushing right to work legislation, attacking workplace compensation, attempting to repeal prevailing wage, and undermining collective bargaining rights, Bruce Rauner has actively fought to lower the wages of Illinois workers in every way possible. Illinoisans deserve a governor who fights for them, not one who is willing to hold this state hostage to force his reckless agenda.”