Pat Quinn is out to make unions a major issue in the gubernatorial campaign.
At a meeting of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan attacked Republican candidate Bill Brady for what they called his anti-union stance.
(Scroll down for video of Quinn and Madigan.)
"We're not going to have a middle class if we allow a lot of anti-labor, anti-union operators to get in politics and tear to shreds fundamental things we all agree on," Gov. Quinn told the assembled union workers. "He doesn't believe in the minimum wage. He wants to abolish it."
Madigan attacked the hiring practices of the Brady family construction company, Brady Homes. He described the company as "strictly non-union," and said that as governor, Brady would "spread that gospel all over the state of Illinois."
Bill Brady had a pointed response for the governor, according to the Sun-Times:
"We're not going to have a middle class if we continue the job-killing policies and insider politics of the Blagojevich-Quinn administration," Brady campaign manager Jerry Clarke said. A Brady campaign official added that Brady's construction company has hired both union and non-union workers in its 40-year history.
Early in his political career, Brady described the minimum wage as a "government intrusion," and said that it should be determined by the market.
Watch Madigan's comments:
Watch Gov. Quinn speak:
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more