U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, was in Joliet on Friday encouraging union members to get out the vote and boosting the cause for union labor.
Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, joined union representatives to talk about the impact of the federal infrastructure bill and other legislation on jobs and union labor.
The partisan discussion at the Teamsters Local 179 union hall was aimed at the Nov. 8 election.
Duckworth faces Republican Kathy Salvi, an attorney from Mundelein, in the election.
Underwood is running in the newly created 14th Congressional District, which includes all of Joliet and neighboring communities. Her Republican opponent is Scott Gryder, an Oswego resident who is chairman of the Kendall County Board.
Duckworth and Underwood told the gathering of about 25 people that more Democrats are needed in congress to pass pro-union legislation.
The message form Duckworth and Underwood at the Joliet gathering is that more Democrats are needed in congress to pass pro-union legislation.
Duckworth also said that union labor gets more respect from companies than people may realize.
“This is really becoming an advantage when we try to attract business to Illinois,” Duckworth said. “People understand the quality of work you get with [union] labor.”
Duckworth said Illinois consistently has been among the top 10 states getting money from the bipartisan infrastructure bill last year, a reflection of government officials readiness to present projects for funding.
“When these dollars started flowing, Illinois was ready,” she said.
Michael Clemmons, international representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, urged the legislators to continue working on laws that would remove obstacles to forming unions.
Clemmons noted that traditional coal-fired power plants that employ union workers are being replaced by green energy operations that unions are trying to organize.
“We’re really concentrated on organizing folks in these industries,” Clemmons said. “Those people really want to do it.”
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October 29, 2022 at 08:20AM