June 6, 2017: The Illinois AFL-CIO today endorsed JB Pritzker for governor. The Illinois AFL-CIO represents nearly 900,000 members across the state.
Although the Democrat party primary isn’t until next March, the candidates are trying to wrap up these major endorsements early on. A union the size of the AFL-CIO will mean both a steady stream of donations, and workers to join a campaign in areas around the state.
So Pritzker, a billionaire, who already has an overwhelming lead in funding his campaign, can now count on the support of a major union, who now won’t be helping his opponents for the nomination.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Illinois AFL-CIO and the working families they represent across our state,” said JB Pritzker. “As governor, the labor movement will always have a seat at the table and will be a partner in our work ahead. I will always stand up for collective bargaining rights and prevailing wage, protect retirement security and pensions, and ensure safe working conditions and pay equity for working families.
The lack of a state budget has caused a lot of problems in both the government circles and on projects that would employ members of the AFL-CIO. But Gov Rauner is also seen as being anti-union by many, due to his call early on in his administration, for local governments to determine that union workers on govt jobs, would be optional.
And Pritzker hammered that in his acceptance of the AFL-CIO endorsement, “We have our work cut out for us. Over 700 days into a historic budget crisis, Bruce Rauner continues to attack our working families instead of doing his job as governor.
Our social services and public education system are on the brink of collapse, but Rauner is focused on dismantling collective bargaining rights, cutting pensions, and opposing prevailing wage.” said Pritzker
Pritzker added, “The AFL-CIO and the working families it represents deserve a real leader in Springfield who will always stand with them to get our state back on track. I look forward to being that governor for Illinois working families.”
But State Senator Dan Biss, who is also seeking the Democrat nomination for Governor, said in a statement, that J.B. Pritzker is little better on union families that Gov Rauner. Biss said, “”The working people of Illinois deserve better than being told they have to support a billionaire [Pritzker] whose family fortune was enriched by anti-union behavior. As Governor of Illinois, I will always put the interest of the working men and women of Illinois ahead of money and the machine.”