Rauner Shows True Colors in Anti-Union Speech

by Amy Excell | Jan 27, 2015
Just days after his inauguration, Governor Rauner advocates for anti-union policies during a speech at Richland Community College in Decatur.

And so it begins. Only a couple weeks after his inauguration, Governor Bruce Rauner revealed his true colors today during a speech at Richland Community College in Decatur.

According to Statehouse reporter Amanda Vinicky and others on Capitol Fax, Rauner came out swinging on Tuesday against “right to work, prevailing wage, project labor agreements and other union issues…”

In his speech, Rauner used misleading euphemisms like “employee-empowerment zones” to describe so-called right-to-work (for less) policies that have failed miserably in other states where workers have lower wages, fewer benefits, and more inequality as a result.

Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan fired back.

“The Bruce Rauner that managed to mask his true feelings about working families for most of last year showed his true agenda today. Much like his past proposal to cut the minimum wage, he is now going after workers on all fronts by supporting Right To Work, attacking Unemployment Insurance and Workers Compensation, as well as prevailing wage and Project Labor Agreements that benefit both workers and the taxpayers.”

The state union president pointed to a recent U of I study that shows Rauner’s “right to work” won’t work for Illinois.

“A recent University of Illinois study points out that the net economic benefit of right to work in Illinois is negligible. The study points out that Right To Work seriously erodes wages, benefits and compounds racial and gender wage inequality. Right To Work will drop wages in Illinois between 5.7 to 7.3 percent. Prosperous economies are driven by good wages and a thriving middle class. Rauner’s proposals are not economic development, but middle class eradication.”

You can read the U of I’s study - “The Economic Effects of Adopting a Right-to-Work Law: Implications for Illinois” - here.

Carrigan also noted that Rauner’s anti-worker agenda is no surprise, but the middle class and our unions will not sit idly by.

“We suspected all along that Bruce Rauner would go back to his roots as a mega-wealthy corporate CEO and force the tired philosophy of increasing the bottom line on the backs of the workers. I haven’t seen any proposals from him on increasing Illinois’ low corporate income tax or closing big business loopholes. Where is his shared sacrifice?

His attack on the middle class will be vigorously opposed by organized labor and community allies. He’s going to have to come up with something better than failed right-wing economic policy.”
Look at the IFT fact sheet for more details about why right-to-work is WRONG for Illinois.

 

The IFT is a proud member of the AFL-CIO.