For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 23, 2017
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on Council 31’s Strike AuthorizationWASHINGTON —
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement on the Illinois state workers’ vote to authorize a strike:
“Public service workers show up every day knowing that their work means something to their communities. They don’t get rich protecting our children, fixing our roads, or keeping our water clean; they do it because it’s a calling. All they ask in return is basic respect, in the form of fair wages and benefits to do their jobs more effectively.
“But Governor Rauner has shown a shameful disrespect for Illinois state workers and the communities they serve. By refusing to negotiate in good faith, he has demonstrated again that he puts his own agenda before the best interests of working families. By irresponsibly using dedicated public service workers as a fiscal scapegoat, he has given union members in state government no choice but to vote on whether to authorize a strike.
“Today Council 31 has announced that over 81 percent of union members voted YES to give their Bargaining Committee the authority to call a strike. AFSCME members across the country stand in solidarity with Illinois state employees in their fight for fundamental fairness.”