CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago aldermen and labor leaders have answered a resounding no to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plans to create so-called “right-to-work zones” in communities throughout the state.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said Chicago will never become a right to work city, so it was no surprise most aldermen have backed a resolution rejecting the idea.
Rauner has said his push is not an anti-union movement, but an effort to allow local governments to decide if they want collective bargaining. He has been seeking public support for his so-called “Turnaround Agenda,” which in part would allow municipalities to limit the power of labor unions by giving the workers the option of not joining unions or paying dues even in jobs that have been unionized.
Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th), the mayor’s floor leader, scoffed at the governor’s ongoing push for “right-to-work zones.”
“The attorney general has said it would violate the law in at least two ways,” he said. “I guess it’s easier, though, for elected officials to just try and pass a statute with a trendy name, as opposed to say we’re going to repeal the statutes that are on the books for all these years that protect working men and women.”
Rauner has been urging municipal governments across the state to approve resolution supporting his so-called “Turnaround Agenda,” which includes establishing “right-to-work zones,” with mixed results, but instead of voting on the governor’s proposal, the council’s Committee on Workforce Development approved a resolution declaring the mayor’s and council’s opposition to Rauner’s plan.
The full City Council is expected to back the union perspective next month.