“For those of you who haven’t been following this story closely, the Governor has threatened to lock out state employees covered by the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement and shut down the state rather than bargain a fair contract.
“The state’s public employee union leadership supported SB1229 which would place a resolution into the hands of a third-party arbitrator, essentially removing Rauner from the process.
“SB1229 passed both houses of the state legislature and then was vetoed by the Governor. The veto was overruled by the super-majority of Democrats in the Senate but fell short by three votes in the House. Madigan’s House.
“Excuse me if I am suspicious. Labor is furious at Chicago Democrat Ken Dunkin, a Rahm supporter, who was conveniently out of town when the vote in the House went down. ‘I don’t work for Madigan,’ Dunkin said.
“Yet nobody counts votes like Madigan counts votes. He knew a week ahead of time that he didn’t have the 71 votes needed in the House to override Rauner’s veto. Yet the vote went ahead.
“Madigan doesn’t let those things happen unless he has a plan. Who loses politically if the AFSCME bargaining leads to a state shut-down? Rauner, not Madigan. And AFSCME workers lose too. As do the people they serve.
“What does Madigan care about collective bargaining rights? Not a bit. What does Madigan owe the public employee unions? Nothing.
“What have the leaders of the public employee unions done to fight Rauner other than to follow Madigan around like a bunch of puppy dogs? Nothing…
“I have been saying all along that the state’s public employee unions are missing an opportunity by letting The Speaker be our Speaker. We should be looking ahead three years and creating a pro-labor working families electoral alternative to Rauner.
“And Madigan Democrats: how many betrayals do we need to learn the lesson?”
From For the Speaker, Losing Is Winning by Fred Klonsky
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