Leaders of the We Are One Illinois labor coalition held a press conference in Springfield Wednesday where they outlined their concerns regarding Gov. Pat Quinn’s actions regarding labor, collective bargaining and pensions.
“In an era when collective bargaining rights are under attack by Republican governors across the country, it is essential that the Democratic Party stand up for union rights. Yet here in Illinois, we have a Democratic governor who is undermining fundamental collective bargaining rights for employees,” said Michael Carrigan, of the AFL-CIO, speaking on behalf of the coalition.
We Are One Illinois held a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield at the same time a legislative breakfast was being held in the same building. In addition, members of the varying labor groups protested Gov. Quinn’s actions during Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
“In an era when jobs are the primary concern of so many citizens — and when Illinois’ unemployment rate remains disturbingly high — Gov. Quinn is leading a one-man crusade to lay off thousands of state workers — jeopardizing vital services on which so many citizens depend, destroying decent-paying union jobs, and decimating the economic vitality of communities throughout the state,” Carrigan said.
The coalition wanted to make clear that:
- It’s Quinn who is leading the charge to drastically reduce the pensions of teachers, caregivers, law enforcement personnel and other public employees who have faithfully paid their portion to the pension system while the state legislature did not.
- Gov. Quinn has refused to grant negotiated wage increases to 30,000 state workers, gave big tax breaks to big corporations, is trying to eliminate 4,000 jobs in communities across the state.
- Pubic employees are helpers and problem solvers and want to work to find a solution to Illinois’ financial problems like they solve problems in their home communities everyday, but the governor must be willing to work with them.
Lawmakers have been summoned back to Springfield this Friday to take up the pension funding issue. Pay close attention to your email, this website, twitter and facebook to keep up with the latest developments.