Union Leader: Rauner Right-To-Work Zones "Attack On Workers Rights"

Dino Leone, President QC Federation of Labor
Dino Leone, President QC Federation of Labor

Following Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s announcement Tuesday during a speech in Decatur that he plans to make Right-to-work zones a priority for his first year in office Illinois union leaders, who desperately didn’t want to see Rauner elected, are gearing up to fight Rauner’s proposal tooth and nail.  During the GOP primary Illinois unions backed then state [mc_name name=’Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’K000360′ ] Dillard, and reluctantly supported Gov. Quinn in November after Quinn had previously signed legislation that reformed the states pension system, that law is being challenged by the unions at the state Supreme Court.

While Rauner hasn’t given much detail on his right-to-work zone idea, saving that for his state of the state address next month, the general outline would see localities putting up the prospect of their area being a right-to-work zone, meaning paying union dues wouldn’t be mandatory in that area, for a referendum vote.

The state of Illinois is in serious financial trouble with an unfunded pension liability of over $110 billion, an economy lagging behind the rest of the nation’s tepid recovery, a major outflow of residents to other states, the poaching of businesses by other states namely Wisconsin, and a business climate regularly cited as one of the worst/most restrictive in the nation.

Gov. Rauner believes that a large part of the states problems stem from the unholy alliance labor unions, especially government sector unions, have with the Democrat party where the unions give money to the Dems running for office and the Dems in turn give the unions lucrative new contracts that sock-it to taxpayers.

According to union leaders Rauner’s effort to let localities decide if they want workers in their area to be forced into a union is an “attack on workers rights”.

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However, many union members in Rock Island County, think the proposal will only hurt the 33,000 union members there now.

“He’s proposing right-to-work, but what it really means is the right to work for less money,” said Dino Leone, President of Quad City Federation of Labor. “What it basically is, is an attack on workers rights to have a stronger voice in the state of Illinois.”

“It would mean a lot less pay for the middle class and working class for people in the Quad Cities,” said Leone. “We will definitely oppose every measure, every piece of legislation [Gov. Rauner] tries to put out on this.”

In truth the unions are upset at this idea of Rauner’s because right-to-work legislation results in fewer union members and thus less dues with which they can pay union leaders six figure salaries and to give to Democrat lawmakers.  Union leaders across Illinois are afraid Rauner will do to unions what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder have done, and what Ohio Gov. John Kasich.