Illinois Labor

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register/pool

Gov. Bruce Rauner is declaring victory after the House failed to override a key veto. The bill was a priority of organized labor.

Peter Breen
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House dealt a series of rebukes to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, as Republicans joined Democrats to override nearly a dozen of the governor’s vetoes.

hourglass with dollar signs instead of sand filtering through
flickr/ Bill Brooks

Before he ran for governor, Bruce Rauner described a plan to use funding for social services as a “wedge” issue to persuade Democrats to support anti-union proposals. The fact that lawmakers did nothing to address the rollback of the temporary income tax increase, which was passed in 2011, set the stage for him to try out his strategy.

Labor unions are attacking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for several vetoes issues late last week. The Republican governor rejected measures that would have raised wages for state contractors that take care of the elderly and disabled.

hourglass with dollar signs instead of sand filtering through
flickr/ Bill Brooks

Bipartisan working groups are currently trying to find a way out of the budget impasse. But the crisis could have been prevented long before the battle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders began.

graph showing collective bargaining membership
Compiled by Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson at Unionstats.com. / Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau

The future of labor depends in large part on which view prevails: that of business, so neatly represented by Gov. Bruce Rauner, seeing unions as past their prime, and an impediment to the full potential of capitalism. Or that of the unions, who've seen the decline of labor precipitate a concentration in wealth at the top of the economic ladder, and ever-increasing income inequality.

University of Washington sociologist Jake Rosenfeld, author of What Unions No Longer Do, joins me to talk about the status of labor in America — and Illinois.