Rauner jumps on Pritzker for hiring nonunion workers; labor leader unmoved

Gov. Bruce Rauner called Democratic rival J.B. Pritzker a "fraud" for using nonunion workers to renovate his Chicago home, although the Republican admitted to similar hiring practices Monday.

"Even though he claims to be a champion of union workers, Mr. Pritzker is anything but ... he chose to use nonunion workers when it is standard in Chicago to use union workers," Rauner said regarding remodeling in 2007 at Pritzker's Gold Coast mansion.

"J.B. had minimal involvement in the renovation work and any hiring decisions were made by those dealing with the day-to-day management of the renovation," Pritzker spokeswoman Galia Slayen said.

"J.B. has been a supporter of unions throughout his life and he is proud to have the support of the labor movement behind this campaign."

Asked if he had ever employed nonunion workers Rauner said, "We've used some workers that are union and some that are not."

The governor has sought to reduce the power of public-sector unions, most notably backing a Supreme Court case where justices ruled unions can't require employees to pay dues for collective bargaining.

The flap does not appear to be dampening support among organized labor for Pritzker.

"We are spending the last 22 days in this election mobilizing our nearly 900,000 members to vote out union-busting Bruce Rauner and his anti-worker agenda," Illinois AFL-CIO President Mike Carrigan said in a statement.

"I am not anti-union at all," Rauner told the Daily Herald editorial board in August. Rauner said he supports trade unions in the private sector but is concerned about the politicization of public sector unions.

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