The protestors of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Illinois Turnaround agenda do “get it.” While temporarily dropped from his official plan for legal reasons, the Right to Work/Employee Empowerment Zones provision is particularly damaging to working families.
In addition, by scrapping Prevailing Wage Laws and Project Labor Agreements, the governor is proposing that we fix the state’s problems by lowering the cost of labor by giving employers more opportunities to pay us less. Labor in this context means all of us regular workers — hourly, salaried, union and non-union.
The governor’s plan asks absolutely nothing from the extremely wealthy and everything of the average worker. To this end, the state minimum wage, currently $8.25 per hour, will be held hostage until all of the governor’s demands are met. And, when those demands are met, Gov. Rauner will reward Illinois workers with a 25-cent raise a year until 2022 when the minimum wage will top out at a below poverty rate of $10 per hour.
Despite overwhelming public support for a drastic increase in the state’s minimum wage in the last election, the governor will continue to defy Illinois voters to promote his promise that more jobs will be created. The governor’s weak stance on worker pay should give all of us an idea of what kid of jobs Illinois will be attracting.
Carlos S. Perez