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More than 125 unions with 1 million+ members endorse Fair Tax amendment

Ahead of Labor Day, more than 125 labor unions that represent more than 1 million union members endorsed the Fair Tax constitutional amendment to cut taxes for working families and generate billions in new investments in schools, health care and jobs statewide.

“When we Vote Yes for Fair Tax, we can cut taxes for everyone under $250,000, make the wealthiest pay their share, and raise $3 billion to fund schools, health care, new infrastructure and good jobs in every community,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea said. “That’s why more than 125 unions with more than 1 million members in every part of our state are endorsing the Fair Tax amendment and why we urge everyone to Vote Yes.”

From coverage of the announcement by One Illinois:

“Our state’s tax system is not fair for working men and women,” said Steve Hughart, a West Frankfort member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, on a media teleconference organized by the group Vote Yes for Fair Tax and featuring several of the 125 unions statewide in support of a graduated income tax.

“The wealthy have been given a pass for decades now,” added Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

“Workers and families need a break,” said Bill Hamilton, a local vice president with the United Auto Workers in Belvidere. “Millionaires and billionaires have used the flat-tax system to shift the burden” away from themselves and on to others, as with other regressive taxes like the gas tax.

“The current structure is wrong,” said Greg Kelley, president of the Service Employees International Union’s Healthcare Illinois division. “Our members fundamentally understand that there’s a problem with the way they’re taxed.” …

The Labor Day weekend is the traditional start of the fall campaign season leading up to the election Nov. 3, and union leaders pledged to get out the vote in favor even as the pandemic deters traditional electioneering methods, such as holding large rallies and campaigning door to door.

“Simply put, the old way of taxing income puts too much burden on the middle class,” Drea said, “and it doesn’t allow enough investment in our state’s core values.

“Workers who make less than $250,000 per year, whether in a union or not, deserve a break now more than ever,” he added. “And that is exactly what they will get with the Fair Tax Amendment.”

Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said it would “give workers relief at a time of extreme hardship,” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic collapse it’s caused.