Union Workers Stand United

By Nick Perreault

February 24, 2011 Updated Feb 24, 2011 at 11:24 PM CDT

The Central Illinois Labor Council President says the change in leadership in House of Representatives in the last election has caused an attack on the American worker.

"They're going to try and balance the budget on the working class people of this country and we have had it, we are not going to tolerate it," said Mike Everett, President of Central Illinois Labor Council.

Hundreds of Union Workers across Central Illinois lined the streets outside Peoria County Courthouse in a Solidarity Rally in support of workers fighting to keep their benefits and collective bargaining rights in states like Wisconsin.

"You bargain for your wages, your bargain for your pension, for healthcare and if you don't bargain for those things, and if you don't have those rights Where do you end up? You end up of the rows of medicade," said Lori Gladson, Public Aide Employee.

Whether their members of a teachers union or a labor union, many of the members here tell me the rally tonight is not just about collective bargaining rights in the state of Wisconsin, but about the power of a union.

"I think the more politicians see that unions are going to stand strong, I believe that they will see we are the ones that decide whether they get elected and thats whats important to them," said Robyn MacDonald, Advanced Asphalt Employee.

"Unions are the backbone of the United States of America and it's got to be that way and stay that way," said Dan Helfers, Labor Local 996 Employee.

The President of Labor Council says this battle is not limited to a few states.

"It's a national problem, and any place where working people are under attack these people will be out there.We had a bus load of people in Wisconsin just yesterday and I got a feeling we are going to be filling a lot of buses in the near future, " Everett said.

Union workers in Illinois say they will continue stand up for workers all around the country, because being part of a union is being part of a family, a family that can not be divided by borders.

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