March 3, 2003

PEORIA (March 3)–Nearly 50 active and retired UTU members in the Peoria-Pekin area enjoyed the chance to talk with the chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Transportation Committee last night at an informal dinner at Fairview Farm hosted by the Illinois Legislative Board.

Sen. George P. Shadid (D-Pekin) met and mingled with the members before addressing them briefly and accepting a donation from the Transportation Political Education League.

“It was a great opportunity for our membership to meet the Chairman and share their concerns with him, as well as to hear his ideas on the issues,” said Legislative Director Joseph C. Szabo. “It was not a big formal affair, just a casual ‘meet-and-greet’ and an opportunity for the Chairman to meet his UTU constituents in Peoria.”

Sen. Shadid pledged to work with the union on needed legislation, Szabo said, and in fact is sponsoring the UTU’s amendments to the Contract Carriers Act in the Senate to close the loopholes in that legislation.

Shadid expressed his understanding of the needs of working people. But he also emphasized the need to develop a bi-partisan, labor-management consensus where possible before drafting legislative language.

“I’m pleased with the relationship union has developed over the years with Sen. Shadid,” Szabo said. “Since he has ascended to the chairmanship of the Transportation Committee, we look forward to a strengthening of that bond.”