Johnson makes union labor a Chicago priority

Johnson makes union labor a Chicago priority

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has created a new deputy mayor position for labor relations, but the job description is about boosting labor power rather than fostering relations and safeguarding taxpayers.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has introduced a new position within his administration: deputy mayor for labor relations.

Johnson, a former lobbyist and activist for the Chicago Teachers Union, issued the order creating the position within hours of his inauguration.

The new role is “responsible for working with all City agencies and departments to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of Chicago; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights, including working with relevant authorities to help enforce workers’ statutory rights.”

The job description doesn’t mention fiscal responsibility, taxpayer representation or pursing compromise between unions and management.

CTU put nearly $2.3 million and scores of union foot soldiers into Johnson’s campaign, which was almost 91% funded by unions. Shouldn’t a labor relations role aim to balance the advocacy for workers’ rights with the necessity of maintaining the city’s financial health so rising taxes don’t drive residents away?

Johnson also appointed CTU’s former chief of staff as deputy mayor of education and health and human services. CTU president Stacey Davis Gates sits on the board of directors of a group actively pushing policies to Johnson.

The city government should ensure fair representation of all stakeholders, not just those with strong connections to the administration.

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