The Teamsters’ get-out-the-vote effort in advance of the Nov. 4 election moved onto Illinois today, with General President Jim Hoffa encouraging early voting among union members and working families at workplaces throughout the Chicagoland area. View more photos from the event, here.
The first stop was the Chicago International Produce Market, an enormous clearinghouse for produce on its way to being delivered to grocery stores across the city. There, Hoffa reminded employees that they have one of their own in office and he deserves their support.
“Pat Quinn, a former Teamster, is a great friend of working families,” Hoffa said. “This state is in the middle of an economic comeback and we have to make sure that everyone votes in the upcoming election.” Illinois is one of a handful of states which has early voting. It started Oct. 20.
Rick Kurzydlo, a member of Local 703 working at the Produce Market, is helping get out the early vote. “Illinois is a strong union state and we need to keep it that way,” Kurzydlo said. “Everyone should get out to vote early and make sure we elect candidates that support unions and working families. At another produce processing company, Anthony Marano Company, whose employees are represented by Local 703, workers showed their support for early voting by chanting, “I’m a Teamster and I Vote!”.
The next stop on the tour was Terrace Paper and then Rush University Medical Center, where 800 employees are represented by Local 743. There, Hoffa told workers they have a major role to play in this election.
“All of you are an important part of keeping Illinois a union-friendly state,” Hoffa said. “And we can keep it that way by voting early for a candidate for governor which supports union rights and working families.”
Those words were well received. “I am so impressed by the work our union is doing in the Illinois election,” said Tony Garrett, a 30-year Rush University Medical Center employee and member of Local 743. “We are all proud Teamsters here.”
The last stop for the day was at the Cook County Jail where Hoffa met with some of the hundreds of Department of Corrections officers represented by Local 700.
The Chicago worksite visits will continue tomorrow with visits to Lagunitas Brewing Company and Masterbox Printing.