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Public Sector Workers Resist Austerity in Illinois

Last week public sector unions, organized under the We Are One coalition, successfully blocked a pension bill that would have sought to solve the state’s economic and fiscal crisis upon the backs of its employees.

Dozens of unionists from Bloomington-Normal traveled to Springfield to lobby and rally against the pension reform, and hundreds from BloNo sent emails and made calls to their representatives.

But workers and the public faced two earlier defeats in the month. State employees had their premium-free health care taken away, and the Illinois Medicaid program – which serves 2.7 million residents – was cut by $1.6 billion.

The current fiscal crisis in Illinois is mirrored in states across the country, as lawmakers avoid fair taxation upon the wealthy and instead seek to impose measures of austerity upon working people.


3 thoughts on “Public Sector Workers Resist Austerity in Illinois

  1. So are you guys going to be protesting the AFL-CIO and SEIU in the near future?

    Posted by Jeff Strange | June 4, 2012, 11:57 pm
  2. No, I won’t be protesting the AFL-CIO because I believe the unions are where workers have any element of democracy in the workplace. There’s not a shred of democracy in a bank, just monopolistic, unaccountable private control of our economy and our lives. I’ve worked in a number of jobs, private and public sector, and where I had a union I had more freedom at work and better pay. Are they perfect institutions?: No, they aren’t. And there are union members nationwide participating to make their unions stronger, more grassroots and member-driven. I personally support moving away from the service-oriented model toward a social movement model, as the Chicago Teachers Union are doing today and Teamsters for a Democratic Union did before them. There are other examples, but these are the best. What has to say on union matters isn’t nuanced and is irrelevant to the story of public sector workers refusing to shoulder all the consequences for what was not their crisis.

    Posted by Corey Mattson | June 5, 2012, 3:14 am


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