AFSCME Members Vote To Authorize Possible Strike
Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) — the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers — have taken a big step toward a possible strike.
The state council of AFSMCE reported Thursday that union members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike.
AFSCME has been fighting with Gov. Bruce Rauner over its contract for more than two years.
And the strike authorization vote comes more than a year after Rauner broke off negotiations, saying they were at impasse.
Executive Director Roberta Lynch says 81 percent of those who voted cast ballots in favor of a strike.
" And I think for the first time, people could really feel:’I demand respect, I deserve respect’. That’s the message that I think this vote sends most clearly”, said Lynch.
The vote does not mean the union will strike anytime soon — or at all. Leaders say they hope Rauner will reverse his yearlong stance and resume negotiating.
The Rauner administration’s general counsel, Dennis Murashko, issued a statement saying the vote was “an attack on our state’s hardworking taxpayers”.
The strike vote was the first such vote in 40 years of state-employee collective bargaining.