The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Unions' Joint Statement Demands That Every Vote Count, as Leaders Outline Steps to Protect Integrity of Election

Unions commit to take whatever non-violent action is required—up to and including a general strike—to ensure a free and fair election in which all votes are counted, and that ensures peaceful transition of power.


Leaders and members of Chicago-area unions representing a broad, multi-racial base of essential workers came together this morning at the Thompson Center to announce their shared commitment to free and fair elections and a peaceful transition of power. Their joint statement below also commits their unions to taking the necessary, non-violent steps to defend every vote, up to and including a general strike. View the full press conference at this link.

Participating unions include SEIU Local 73, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri and Kansas, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), AFGE Local 704, Cook County College Teachers Union Local 1600, the Chicago Teachers Union, and the Warehouse Worker Organizing Committee.

Unions and grassroots groups are mobilizing on Wednesday at 5PM at Daley Plaza, for a rally to defend democracy and the vote. Sponsoring groups are demanding that every vote is counted and reflected in the government sworn in on January 20.

Joint Statement of Chicago-area Labor on Protecting Our Democracy

As the elected leaders of eight Chicago-area unions, we call for every single vote to be counted and for the final results of the 2020 Presidential election to be respected. We stand firmly in opposition to any effort to subvert, distort, misrepresent or disregard the final outcome. We invite our fellow members of the labor movement to join us in defense of these democratic rights.

We believe that the labor movement has an essential role in demanding and defending democracy. We believe in the power of the people -- the multi-racial, working-class majority -- and we are ready to defend our right to a free and fair election and a peaceful transition of power.

Donald Trump wants to steal this election. We won't let him, and we are prepared to engage in mass non-violent protest--up to and including a general strike of all working people, if necessary--to protect and defend our democratic rights.

We will stand up for democratic rights wherever they are at risk. We call on all unions, community, faith and civic organizations, and public leaders to unite in vigilance and readiness to defend our rights as the votes in the November 3rd election are cast and counted.


  • Dian Palmer, President, SEIU Local 73
  • Greg Kelley, President, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri and Kansas
  • Carl Rosen, President, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)
  • Jesse Sharkey, President, Chicago Teachers Union
  • Stacy Davis Gates, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union
  • Nicole Cantello, President, AFGE Local 704
  • Roberto Clack, Warehouse Worker Organizing Committee
  • Tony Johnston, President, Cook County College Teachers Union
  • Fight for $15 and a Union

An affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), CTU is the third largest teachers local in the country and the largest local union in Illinois.