Solidarity is one of the most important pillars on which Organized Labor rests. United, workers can accomplish much more than if they were divided. The same is true when it comes time to hit the voting booth. That was the message delivered by three candidates to Union Stewards at Teamsters Local 525’s annual Steward’s meeting on January 24th in Alton.
“Solidarity makes the Union vote strong,” said Bob Daiber, who is running for Madison County Board Chairman. “My call for solidarity is to make the Union vote strong. If a candidate supports prevailing wage and is against right to work, that’s who we need to vote for.”
Daiber was joined by candidates Honorable Judge Sarah Smith and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan in speaking about the importance of voting for candidates who support Organized Labor. Smith is currently a circuit court judge in Madison County and running for a seat on the 5th Appellate Court District. Londrigan is running for the 13th Congressional District House seat. All three candidates have been endorsed by Teamsters Joint Council No. 25.
Local 525 Vice President Brett Wessel said Daiber, Smith, and Londrigan are all friends of Organized Labor. Bringing in candidates to speak to stewards and talk to them face-to-face about how they plan to support legislation that’s beneficial to the Teamsters is very important. Wessel pointed out that there can be repercussions for not voting for candidates who support your industry and livelihood.
“It’s important to have candidates speak directly to our stewards. Our stewards then relay that information to their members and we can get our entire membership on the same page on who we support. We’ve seen in recent elections how the working class vote can swing an election. We as Teamsters have a powerful voice when we unite and rally around candidates who we know will oppose right-to-work and support a fix to the pension crisis,” said Wessel.
Daiber is that kind of candidate, according to Wessel. Daiber himself was a union member for more than a quarter of a century. He was a member of the Illinois Education Association for 26 years, and served as its president for six years.
“I’ve seen the good Organized Labor can do. Without a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by my union, I would not have health insurance or make the wage I did,” Daiber said.
In his time as Madison County Schools Regional Superintendent, Daiber worked directly with Teamsters who were bus drivers for the district or worked in other capacities.
“I believe Organized Labor gets the job done, and they get it done correctly. The training programs offered get the job done correctly according to policy and code and makes sure workers are not put in any kind of danger or risk to their health,” Daiber said.
All three candidates will be on the ballot for the upcoming Illinois Primary on March 17, 2020.