EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Local workers joined state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, to speak out against Gov. Bruce Rauner’s efforts to further enrich big corporations at the expense of the middle class Monday.
“We can all agree that Illinois needs to grow our economy and create jobs,” Stuart said. “However, we cannot allow Governor Rauner to do this on the backs of our hard-working families and pretend it’s reform.”
Joined by local workers, Stuart discussed how Rauner’s agenda would put Illinois in a race to the bottom, and increase corporate profits by lowering wages and making workplaces less safe. This is illustrated in a recent Bloomberg article that found dangerous working conditions in states like Alabama, where policies similar to those demanded by Rauner have been enacted.
“The governor’s corporate agenda is a handout to big businesses and billionaire CEOs, leaving Southern Illinois families to pay the price,” said Mark Johnson, president of the Operating Engineers Local 520. “We see in Alabama that taking money out of the pockets of middle-class families, silencing workers and putting their lives at risk is not a strategy for real economic growth, it’s a strategy to create a sweatshop economy.”
Stuart is calling on the governor to join her in supporting an agenda of real economic reforms that create jobs and lift up the middle class, rather than tearing it down.
“We are proposing a new way forward that invests in businesses that invest in Illinois, cuts the corporate income tax rate and reduces taxes for families so they can keep more of what they earn,” said Stuart. “We need to level the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses and lift up middle-class families.”
“The kind of state Bruce Rauner is pushing us toward is one where people like me are going to be permanently disabled or even killed in unsafe, unaccountable workplaces,” said Ed Caughron of Granite City, who was injured in a workplace accident. “Beneath all his campaign speeches and political spin, the governor’s only goal is to get more money to his big business buddies, and he doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process.”