Our political opponents are ramping up their attacks against us. And we won’t let them get away with trying to take away the rights we earned and fought hard to win.
Politico, a Capitol Hill publication in Washington, D.C., provides a summary of state battles and misbehaving elected officials. Illinois governor Bruce Rauner belongs at the top of the list with his blatant attacks against labor unions.
Recently, Rauner signed an executive order allowing workers to stop paying fair share dues used to support collective bargaining and impose Right to Work rules on public employees in his state. At this time, Rauner’s executive order is directed toward state workers not applying to local and municipal employees.
In an audacious abuse of power, the billionaire governor who spent $27.3 million of his own money to get elected; filed a pre-emptive federal lawsuit to have his executive order declared legal.
The governor proposes limits on collective bargaining, cutting salaries and pay for workers, preventing workers from negotiating wages and benefits and transferring pensions and retirement plans to risky defined contribution plans making it harder for workers to retire with dignity. Rauner has also called for a ban on political contributions by unions.
If it looks like we’ve seen this horror movie before, it is because Rauner is following the blue print of former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who used his executive power to eliminate collective bargaining for state workers only in 2005.
Elections have consequences, and Rauner has done what he said he would do when he campaigned for the governor’s office. We have a new Scott Walker, but now on steroids! Rauner is trying to wipe labor unions off the Illinois map! But we won’t stand for his high-handed tactics.
Illinois fire fighters will now potentially have to challenge the governors’ executive order in the court system and fight to protect their pensions. They won’t fight alone.
We can’t allow this billionaire bully who is out of touch with fire fighters and other workers to push his elitist and pro-business friendly agenda on citizens who are just trying to survive and do what’s best for their communities and families. What’s happening in Illinois isn’t right, and is scary.
The IAFF will stand with our Illinois fire fighters to fight against any attacks that will make their state less safe and their retirements less secure.