* The Illinois AFL-CIO sent a mailer to union members the other day to inform them about Bruce Rauner. A reader sent me phone pics of the front, back and inside pages…
* And AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan has sent out a letter to the editor on the same topic…
For a candidate who built his entire campaign for governor on attacking public-sector unions, Bruce Rauner is astonishingly ignorant of the facts about those unions.
Flip-flopping from his previous position that public-sector unions have a “fundamental conflict of interest with the people of Illinois,” Rauner now says he wants government workers to be “free to decide whether they want to join a union.”
Earth to Rauner: Government workers have had that freedom since the day they gained the right to form unions. Unlike the companies Rauner runs, unions operate on the basis of democracy.
Moreover, in the public sector, every employee already has the right not to join the union, even if they are represented by it. They can choose instead to only pay a fair-share fee based on the cost of representation activities that unions are required by law to provide.
Then there’s Rauner’s false claim that public employee unions are a “corrupting influence” simply because their members’ salaries are paid from government revenues. That’s a slander on hundreds of thousands of teachers, caregivers, firefighters, snowplow drivers, police officers, nurses and other public employees who have a right to be heard.
Rauner also now claims he that has no problem with unions in the private sector. That’s yet another flip-flop.
The simple truth is that Rauner thinks he should have unfettered power. Unions, public and private, are standing in his way, so he’s out to destroy them. Every Illinois worker has a big stake in ensuring that someone so utterly hostile to the interests of average working families doesn’t become the next governor.
* Sen. Durbin also got into the act…
With dozens of representatives from local unions in the audience at the Kane County Democrats annual Harry S. Truman Dinner on Sunday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin did some finger-pointing to a Republican candidate for governor.
“Think of what voters in Wisconsin would have done if they had a make-over on that first race for Scott Walker,” Durbin said. […]
Durbin said the Republican gubernatorial candidate should be able to afford a history book and read about the emergence of the labor movement in America.
“It was a labor movement that stood up for a 40-hour work week; it was a labor movement that stood up for overtime; it was the labor movement that stood up against child labor and safety in the workplace,” Durbin said.