This smackdown of one of the key components of the new governor’s self-dubbed “turnaround” agenda is a stinging rebuke to his anti-labor crusade. Speeches on the House floor clearly exposed the governor’s real goal in promoting right-to-work measures: trying to weaken workers’ voices.
“What right-to-work does, this is the only thing it does, is it gives somebody the ability to freeload,” said Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., a Democrat from Joliet and a 20-year machinists’ union member. “That’s what it does. They get the same benefits, the same wages, the same protections as that of a union member. And what that does is destroy the inner-functions of organized labor.”
In addition to pushing the right-to-work scam on local communities, Rauner illegally stopped fair share fees paid by state employees who choose not to join the union but benefit from its gains. He would also like to outlaw political contributions from labor unions, while allowing corporate donations.
“This governor has no respect for unions or the working people who choose to join them,” said Roberta Lynch, executive director of AFSCME Illinois Council 31 and an AFSCME International vice president. “The House of Representatives’ vote of ‘no support’ for his policies should make clear to him that his anti-union plans are not popular with the people of Illinois.”