News Local/State

Democrat Pritzker Calls Janus Decision ‘An Attack On Working Families’


Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker addresses the media on the Janus labor case decision at an event in Springfield on June 27. SAM DUNKLAU / NPR ILLINOIS 91.9 FM

While Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus labor case on Wednesday, his chief opponent on the campaign trail was quick to criticize. J.B. Pritzker took to the podium in Springfield to do just that.

The High Court ruled that mandated fair share fees public employees pay to labor unions violate free speech, reversing more than 40 years of precedent.

At a campaign stop in Springfield, Pritzker called the court’s decision a deliberate “attack” pushed by Governor Bruce Rauner. He was joined by a few members of AFSCME, the public sector union on the other side of the case. They cheered him on when he accused Governor Rauner of bludgeoning state workers with the court’s decision.

“He’s used the Supreme Court as his instrument to attack working families, to lower wages, to lower workplace safety,” Pritzker said.

But when asked what he’d do about it if he wins the November election, Pritzker seemed to shy away from a specific answer, opting instead to say he needed to further examine the decision.

“Well, we’re gonna have to work hard to figure out what’s next," he mused. "But I will say this: that if you elect me governor, I’ll stand up everyday for working families.”

While the Pritzker campaign has major union backing and supports union-friendly efforts like a $15 minimum wage, his family’s Hyatt Hotel chain has had its share of labor disputes. Last year, workers at the chain’s flagship hotel in Chicago won a contract suit against management in a federal appeals court.