Rahm Emanuel: Unions’ Friend or Foe?


Labor Pains Bedevil Emanuel in His Chicago Bid to Replace Daley as Mayor
John McCormick | Bloomberg
Nov 22, 2010

Rahm Emanuel’s relationship with unions can make even the simplest question difficult: Is the former White House chief of staff and Chicago mayoral candidate a friend of labor?

“I’d rather not comment on that,” said Tom Balanoff, president of the Illinois State Council of the Service Employees International Union, the state’s largest. That depends, he said, on “how you define a friend.”

Winning labor support is central to Emanuel’s political ambitions in a city where nine out of 10 municipal employees are union members. About 250,000 of the third-largest U.S. city’s 2.8 million residents belong to unions, said Nick Kaleba, a spokesman for the Chicago Federation of Labor.

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