Thousands of Union Members Protest Gov. Rauner's Agenda

May 18, 2016

Union workers from across Illinois traveled to Springfield Wednesday to march against Governor Bruce Rauner.

They were protesting what they say are his anti-labor policies.

There was a time - in recent memory - that the labor movement wasn't all too fond of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Though he's a Democrat, he helped pass bills cutting government worker pension benefits. And he's backed corporate tax breaks.

But at this rally - some 8,000 union members greeted him like a rock star.

"Gov. Rauner wants to send injured workers to welfare. How do you feel?  NO"

Here's the last question. Gov. Rauner wants Illinois to go right to work. How do you feel? NO"

Thank you!" (CHEERS)

Senate President John Cullerton also took the stage; he says Democrats will stay tough and fight for the middle class.

Annette Edwards is a member of the Service Employees International Union.

She riled the crowd saying she lost her job as a child care worker after the governor cut eligibility for the program.
 
"Bruce Rauner is no job creator. He is a job killer. I lost my job because of his cuts. He's holding our state hostage so that he can pass through tax cuts for the rich, and pay cuts, service cuts, and job cuts for the rest of us."
 
The governor says Illinois is not friendly to business.  The Republican says he won't negotiate on a comprehensive state budget unless Democrats pass an agenda he says will make the state more competitive.

He's calling for restricting compensation for injured workers ... ending the prevailing wage ... and other changes labor adamantly oppose.

Labor disputes are at the heart of Illinois' budget impasse.