January 3, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
Chicago, IL- As 2015 ends Illinois is facing a big budget challenge in the New Year. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is playing hardball trying to use his power to force major radical changes while holding the budget hostage to his demands. SEIU workers in a video posted by the union say the governor appears not to want a budget passed and they are urging a rational solution rather than risking a state government shutdown in Illinois.
[SEIU Illinois Workers]: "On July first the state of Illinois could face a devastating shutdown because of Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner does not want to pass a budget Instead he is holding Illinois working families hostage because his anti-worker and anti-union turnaround agenda has not been passed. If a budget has not been passed and signed before July first, services for all Illinois residents could be severely crippled. State facilities like the Secretary of State and special projects could be shut down. This should not and does have to happen. We cannot afford failure.Governor Rauner, stop playing games with our lives and all working families in Illinois."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker violated federal labor law by not paying his own security detail overtime required under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The state of Wisconsin has been ordered to pay the security detail officers $577,189 in overtime back pay. The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division found that the security officers on Walker's detail often worked 50, 60 and even 70 hours in a week. They were paid by the anti-union governor for just 40 hours a week, a violation of federal labor law.
In a stark contrast to Illinois and Wisconsin governors, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is making some good news for workers in his state. Workers in New York's fast food industry, tipped workers as well as workers in all other industries got a raise New Year's Eve. The state minimum wage went to $9 an hour, tipped wages went to $7.50 and the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York City rose to $10.50. The minimum for fast food workers in the rest of the state went to $9.75 an hour. Governor Cuomo says the Fight For $15 in New York continues. he says no one who works full time should ever be condemned to a life of poverty.