President's Report

Issue 3 2017

Recently, the Illinois General Assembly attempted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of anti-Right-to-Work zones legislation.

Recently, the Illinois General Assembly attempted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of anti-Right-to-Work zones legislation. This legislation would have made it illegal for local municipalities to establish their own right-to-work zones. While it is already illegal for local municipalities to set up RTW zones, since federal law only grants this power at the state level, suburbs like Lincolnshire disregard  common sense interpretations of labor law. The General Assembly’s override would have solidified a municipality’s inability to set up local RTW zones. Unfortunately, the House needed 71 to override, and each time, they only had 70 votes. During the first override vote, Representative Michael McAuliffe, a Republican who receives support from organized labor, voted present. Several other Republicans said they did not like the language in the bill that allowed village leaders to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if they set up a RTW zone. Legislators went back and removed the misdemeanor language and brought it up for vote again. It passed in the Senate and lost in the House again by one vote. Once again, Rep. McAuliffe voted present. Representative Jerry Long, a member of the Teamsters union from Streeter, voted against the veto override. Our response should be analogous to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s comments at the 2017 convention that the newly adopted Worker Bill of Rights is a litmus test for elected officials. (Read more on page 10.) Anyone who abstained or voted against the override does not deserve the support of organized labor.

The 2018 election is labor’s chance to vote out Governor Rauner and any elected officials who do not stand with us. The Illinois AFLCIO endorsed JB Pritzker for governor in July, and the CFL strongly supports this endorsement. Mr. Pritzker has a vision for Illinois that will restore and rebuild social services, invest in our children’s education and create economic opportunities for our communities. If organized labor is going to win this election, it is time for people to show up and turn out to get others voting for likeminded candidates. Otherwise, Illinois will
suffer the same fate as its surrounding states.

The AFL-CIO convention brought new life to the movement as we continue the fight
on the ground. I hope that as we gear up for the 2018 election, you all are ready to stand with the Chicago Federation of Labor to elect thecandidates who are willing to fight for us.

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