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Illinois AFL-CIO gives early nod to Quinn in governor's race

Gov. Pat Quinn shored up his labor support Friday by gaining an early endorsement from the Illinois AFL-CIO in his race against Republican Bruce Rauner, multiple sources confirmed.

Close to three dozen affiliated unions under the Illinois AFL-CIO umbrella met in Burr Ridge for the organization’s first quarterly meeting Friday and opted to go on record early in the gubernatorial campaign as supporting Quinn, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

There were no votes of opposition, though the union representing about 35,000 state employees, AFSCME Council 31, abstained from the vote.

AFSCME is suing Quinn in a bid to undo changes to state pension laws that the governor backed that would cut back on post-retirement benefits for its members. The case is being heard in Sangamon County and is expected to eventually go before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Another public-sector union trying to get that law tossed, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, was absent from the meeting.