Labor On Rauner: ‘Working People Are Under Attack’

September 23, 2015
Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan is joined by union members at a Springfield event. Also present was State Sen. Andy Manar, Andrew Fuchs is third from left.

Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan, center, is joined by union members at a Springfield event. Also present was State Sen. Andy Manar, right. Andrew Fuchs is third from left.

(Brian Mackey/WUIS)

Labor unions are holding a series of events across Illinois to speak out against Governor Bruce Rauner’s agenda.  Rauner’s proposals include changing rules that force cities and schools to pay union wages on construction projects, which he says would save money.  But the governor is also pushing to weaken labor unions - such as by creating right-to-work zones.

Several union leaders and members held an event at a Springfield church to voice their concerns.

“The unions are not the problem with the economy in this state," said Andrew Fuchs, who has been a union plumber for 19 years. "I have a hard time believing anybody that’s a working person would not support unions."

Fuchs says all working people — not just union members — are under attack.  “The majority of the people are workers in this state," he said.  "I think we need to make a concentrated effort to get the people off their rear ends and voice their opinion."

For his part, Rauner says Illinois cannot afford to maintain its social safety net without making the state more attractive to business.

Wednesday's labor event in Springfield will be repeated in the coming weeks in the Quad Cities, Rockford, the Chicago suburbs and the Metro-East area near St. Louis.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio