Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Organized labor can’t make up its mind for the Chicago mayor election

Remaining neutral?
It's intriguing to see the way that the various factions that comprise organized labor and unions are shaping up with regards to the upcoming mayoral election run-off.

With the "excitement" factor amongst the electorate focusing on the campaign of Lori Lightfoot for mayor, it seems that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is counting on having the "reliable" factor of having labor unions on her side.
Siding with one-time member

BECAUSE UNIONS DO have the ability to get their members to turn out and actually cast ballots in accordance with the desires of union leadership.

If that one poll commissioned by Stand by Children Illinois that shows Lori Lightfoot with a 2-1 vote ratio in her favor really has any truth to it, then Preckwinkle really is going to need every bit of organized labor support if she’s to have the least bit of a chance to have victory in the April 2 run-off election.

Which is why Camp Preckwinkle surely was disappointed to learn this week that the Chicago Federation of Labor – the organization that oversees so many union locals – has decided to remain neutral.

The union leadership may well be taking the honest attitude – one that says their interviews with the two mayoral candidates have such similar views and attitudes on issues related to workers and labor that they can’t pick between the two.
PRECKWINKLE: Her labor backing unsure

ANYBODY WHO THINKS there’d be a serious difference between a Mayor Lightfoot and a Mayor Preckwinkle is exaggerating the fact.

Although it seems that the labor unions that backed the campaign of Susana Mendoza during the first phase of the municipal election cycle are basing their endorsement decisions on the fact that Preckwinkle focused much of her negative campaigning against Susana.

Lightfoot could get some union member support just based on the fact that they want to spite Preckwinkle come April 2. And since the Preckwinkle campaign is basing its hopes so heavily on a strong union member voter turnout, the lack of an endorsement could result in enough voter apathy that could result in a Lightfoot victory.
LIGHTFOOT: Uncertainty a plus for Lori?

Perhaps even enough that justify the idea that Lightfoot is leading Preckwinkle by a 58 percent to 30 percent margin.

SO I’M SURE that Preckwinkle is determined to exaggerate the significance of one union that seems willing to stand by her side – as in the Chicago Teachers Union. Which remembers that back in the days before she became a political person, Toni was a school teacher.

The union issued its own statement saying that the 2-1 voter ratio support for Lightfoot was “stupid.” They were quick to recall that Stand by Children was a group that supported efforts back in 2011 to raise the standards by which the teachers’ union could go on strike.

As they see it, the group was nothing more than an organization promoting the anti-labor beliefs of Bruce Rauner – who we all know later went on to his one term as Illinois governor, where he tried imposing his anti-union agenda on all of us only to have the voters reject his re-election bid last year.

Should we disregard the idea that Lori Lightfoot has such a huge lead, or that people are that opposed to the idea of a “Mayor Preckwinkle?” Personally, I think the number of people surveyed for the poll (only about 400) is too small to reach a serious conclusion about anything.

BUT IT WOULD seem that Preckwinkle has at least the teachers’ union remaining on her side. Although, to be truthful, it’s not unusual for the teachers’ union and other unions to be in disagreement with each other.
Will Preckwinkle move from left to right side of bldg. following Election Day?
With the schoolteachers often taking more progressive stances on issues as opposed to the unions that represent workers who earn their living with physical labor.

Although the idea that Preckwinkle has the more liberal union members potentially on her side would fit in with the Preckwinkle campaign strategy of convincing voters that she, and not Lightfoot, is the true progressive for people to pick from come Election Day.

Which is a stance she would not have had to think of taking if the originally-expected scenario of a run-off election between Preckwinkle and William Daley were reality.


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