The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 has announced its endorsements for the 2012 election cycle and has given the nod to U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) because of his strong support for the working and middle class and due to his independent voting record in Congress.
James M. Sweeney, President-Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, explained the union's support for Schilling.
"When the trend among extremists in his party has been to attack workers time and time again, Bobby Schilling stood up and supported prevailing wage laws that protect the middle class, and he did it on every single vote that came up," Sweeney said. "Even though it was not a popular stance with some of the party leaders, Schilling knew it was the right choice for working men and women in his District, and this type of courageous leadership is what we need in Washington."
The IUOE, which has a tendency to endorse Democrats, has also endorsed President Barack Obama and State Senator Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline).
"I'm grateful to receive the endorsement of the IUOE Local 150," Schilling said. "Look, jobs aren't a Democrat or a Republican issue—they're a Red, White, and Blue issue. Since coming to Congress, my focus has always been on creating jobs and standing alongside working Americans. I've worked across the aisle to fight for jobs in the Illinois 17th District, and I'll continue to do that when elected to a second term on November 6th."
Schilling, a local small business owner, is the only candidate in the race with union experience, having served more than 13 years in a union. Schilling was a union steward in the Local 191 United Paperworkers International Union and a treasurer for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.