Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was in Champaign, Illinois today to speak at the Champaign County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Daniels is not very popular with labor unions because he signed the “right to work” law in his state, which bans unions from collecting mandatory fees for union representation.
About thirty busloads of labor union members from all parts of the state–and beyond–came to the parking lot of the University of Illinois Assembly Hall to protest against Daniels and the right to work law–and make it clear that “anti-union” legislation is not welcome in Illinois.
“The Right to Work Won’t Work in Illinois” Facebook page states that the groups behind it are “committed to fighting for workers’ rights and maintaining collective bargaining rights.” They are also not very fond of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Gov. Walker was in Springfield Illinois on Tuesday to speak to business leaders, and one of the main points of several speakers at today’s gathering was how well they managed to stick it to Walker on that occasion. An estimated 3500 union protesters had been in attendance for that event, much the same as today’s gathering.
There were several speeches by union leaders from Indiana and Illinois. The president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Michael Carrigan, proclaimed that he was “proud to be in Springfield to welcome that scurrilous rat from Wisconsin, and I’m proud to be here to welcome that scurrilous rat from Indiana.” The crowd loved that.
In fact, rats were a big theme for several protestors. There were signs with pictures of rats, and even a giant inflatable rat with a “Shame on Mitch” sign plastered across its stomach.
Two participants were happy to pose for a picture to show off their signs, which read: “I just took a Mitch and wiped my Daniels” (complete with hand-drawn toilet paper roll) and “MITCH – Miserable Indiana Teabagging Corporate wHore”. Whore didn’t quite fit, but somehow they had managed to work it in anyway.