First, Emanuel pledged to make $75 million in cuts to close a current year budget deficit. Emanuel threatened to lay off 625 city workers unless they agreed to rule changes to save the city $50 million.
The Chicago Federation of Labor leadership subsequently released a report, which contains thoughtful proposals that would instead save the city $242 million.
So far the administration has turned a deaf ear and some observers wonder if the bullying is an effort to intimidate labor and turn city residents against public workers instead of demanding sacrifices from big business. Needless to say, relations with the labor movement have been strained.
This is the reason why the AFL-CIO is not as warm to Democrats as they’ve been in the past. For all the tough talk Emmanuel is known for he’s more of a bully than a leader. He can’t stand up to business interests so he takes it out on organized labor. That truthfully sounds cowardly to me. At least you know where governors like Scott Walker et al. stand. They’re anti-union no doubt. But Rahm Emmanuel is a Democrat and what makes him difficult is the fact that while he obviously doesn’t like labor he will still try and placate them when he needs something.