* From a January, 2013 op-ed by not yet declared gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner…
A worker shouldn’t be under a union boss’ thumb any more than under a business boss’ thumb. Increasingly, employers are relocating to these pro-employment freedom states, and are looking only at those states when considering job expansion decisions. […]
Illinois need not adopt the exact reforms found in Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan. But we sure need to move in that direction if we are going to compete for jobs.
One creative solution is available to us that has not been tried elsewhere. Under federal labor law, states may authorize their local communities to decide for themselves whether to embrace right-to-work. Why not empower Sangamon County, or Effingham County, or any of our other local governments to decide for themselves if they would like to compete for the jobs that come with new manufacturing plants or transportation facilities built by the many hundreds of companies that will consider expanding only in flexible work areas?
* From a fall 2013 appearance on Roe Conn’s WLS Radio show when asked about right to work…
“I think we’ve got a lot of challenges, I don’t think that’s at the top of our list… Labor regulations are one small piece of [improving the state’s business climate], I don’t think that’s in the top few.”
* From a January 2014 appearance on Robert Rees’ Bloomington Cities 92.9FM show…
“I am not anti-union, that’s a false statement by my opponents”
…Adding… From just before the election in October, 2014…
[Rauner] says “right-to-work” laws aren’t his focus.
“Pushing any specific labor regulation is not my priority at all,” Rauner said.
Yet, now it’s suddenly a first-year priority.
* By the way, I told subscribers today about an interesting quote I missed earlier this month which appeared in the Tribune…
Experts say it is unlikely Illinois will become a right-to-work state because the General Assembly is controlled by Democrats backed by unions that provide campaign contributions and volunteers. While Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner supports right-to-work zones, he is unlikely to tackle the issue as he faces larger issues such as a shortfall, pension obligations and a slow economic recovery.
“Illinois doesn’t need right to work (laws) to compete with its neighbors,” said [Illinois Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Todd Maisch].
Maisch said the state should focus on measures that would move the economy forward, such as a bill to fund upgrades to the state’s infrastructure. On that issue, he said, the chamber will work closely with labor to push lawmakers at the state and federal level to act on proposals.
“Business and labor do have joint agendas,” Maisch said.