* Kerry Lester…
Rauner representatives spoke with the Daily Herald editorial board this week about preparations in case the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees votes to strike later this month. The union and the governor have failed to agree on a contract proposal, with the governor’s office rejecting the union’s latest proposal earlier this month
Dennis Murashko, the governor’s general counsel, said the governor could fill spots by mobilizing the Illinois National Guard, as Minnesota did in 2001. The governor’s office estimates 28,000 to 30,000 workers around the state could go on strike. AFSCME is scheduled to take a strike vote Jan. 30.
So, maybe now we know why the governor doesn’t want to mobilize the National Guard to help quell Chicago’s violence? /snark
…Adding… Wordslinger makes a valid point in comments…
That’s not snark.
Consider how much time and effort Rauner and the Frat Boys have invested in fighting AFSCME.
Now, compare that to the time and effort they’ve invested in fighting the Chicago homicide explosion.
*** UPDATE *** From AFSCME…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
For more than year Bruce Rauner has refused to compromise or even meet with our union, leaving public service workers no choice but to consider authorizing a strike. Rauner is demanding a 100% hike in employee health costs paired with a four-year wage freeze for nearly 40,000 men and women who protect Illinois children, care for veterans, help struggling families and more. Now news reports suggest that Rauner is threatening to try to break a strike with the National Guard—a scheme that was widely criticized when first rumored 18 months ago. Everyone of good conscience, regardless of party, should tell Bruce Rauner to renounce his reckless National Guard scheme, reject confrontation and seek a fair compromise with AFSCME.
Bernie, by the way, profiled Murashko the other day. Murashko said his favorite Supreme Court Justice is Clarence Thomas. He comes from the Jones Day law firm, which is infamous for its defense of corporations against unions.
* Anyway, how did things go in Minnesota? From an October 2, 2001 NY Times story…
Nearly 28,000 Minnesota state employees walked off the job today in a demand for higher pay, drawing criticism from many Minnesotans, who said the strikers were acting selfishly at a time of national crisis [a few weeks after the September 11th attacks]. […]
The strike, one of the nation’s largest in decades involving public employees, pits two powerful unions against Minnesota’s usually outspoken governor, Jesse Ventura, who has adopted a low profile in this dispute.
The walkout began at 6 a.m. and immediately had a broad effect. Driving tests and birth registrations were delayed. The Minnesota Zoo was closed. The Minnesota National Guard deployed 920 of its members to help operate 120 state-run health care centers, whose social workers, psychologists, nurses’ aides, food workers and janitors were among the strikers.
* An LA Times story from the same day…
To fill some of the most crucial positions, Ventura has turned to the National Guard. About 1,000 reservists will report to state-run health care facilities, such as nursing homes for veterans, to feed and care for patients. Others will perform routine maintenance work to make sure, for instance, that boilers are working at all state facilities, Wodele said.
* The strike ended about two weeks later…
Workers went on strike three weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the timing has been a public-relations challenge for union members.
Managers pulled double-duty and as many as 1,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard helped out in nursing homes, veterans homes, security hospitals and treatment centers.
Services were disrupted in some state agencies, but no major problems were reported.
Poll results released Friday found that more than half of respondents felt it “wrong for state employees to be on strike now.” The Star Tribune newspaper poll also found people more sympathetic to the administration’s position than to the unions’.
* Roberta Lynch: Refusing to compromise, Rauner risks a strike
* Austin Berg: AFSCME strike vote is an insult to middle-class