September 23, 2010
CHICAGO (Sept. 23)—The names of candidates endorsed by the UTU in the 2010 General Election have been posted by the Illinois Legislative Board on its Web site.
Endorsements for candidates running in some neighboring states also have been posted for the benefit of rail employees who are members of an Illinois UTU local but live across a state line.
“The Board has given careful thought to each of these candidates,” said Illinois Legislative Director Robert W. Guy. “In order to earn the Board’s endorsement the candidate must have a record of supporting legislation that favors the interests of railroad employees and their families.”
Guy defined those interests primarily as the health and safety of the employee in the workplace, fair workplace rules enforced in a fair and impartial manner, and the maintenance of the union’s hard-won wages and benefits.
“If an elected official has voted for these policies while in office, he or she is likely to win the union’s endorsement,” Guy said. “If the candidate has not previously held public office, the union’s endorsement is based on whether the candidate has supported such policies in speeches and position papers.”
Guy emphasized that the endorsements are non-partisan.
“Both Republicans and Democrats are represented on the union’s list of endorsed candidates,” he said. “Party affiliation is not relevant as long as the candidate supports legislation that benefits railroad employees and their families.”
Guy urged members to consult the list carefully and carry it into the voting booth with them on Nov. 2.
“Our union has fought hard—and successfully—for safe-workplace legislation such as the Railroad Employees Medical Treatment Act and the Safe Walkways Act,” he said.
“These laws are saving lives and limbs and protecting members rights, but they would not have become law if the Illinois General Assembly had been dominated by legislators indifferent to the health and welfare of railroad employees,” Guy said. “Only by electing union-endorsed candidates can we make sure that these hard-won benefits are not taken away.”
To see the 2010 General Election endorsements, click on the “2010 Illinois General Election Endorsements” link on the left side of the union’s home page at www.illini.utu.org. The link is filed under “Illinois Legislative Board.
Also listed are endorsements in three neighboring states where many members of Illinois UTU locals make their homes. Those endorsements are listed as “2010 Neighboring State General Election Endorsements.”
Guy also reminded members to make sure they are registered to vote.
“If you’re not yet registered to vote just click ‘Voter Registration’ under the ‘Links to Useful Web Sites’ at the bottom of the left column on our Web page,” Guy said. “The process is simple. In future weeks we’ll be issuing additional bulletins on voter registration so that every member can help all of us elect the candidates who will protect our interests.”