By CARL GREEN
Belleville, IL – Illinois State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) a vital Labor supporter in the Legislature, received a warm welcome the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council awards dinner Aug. 29 at Bel-Aire Bowl, where he noted the successful passage of several pieces of pro-Labor legislation in the past session, made possible by long-awaited pro-union majorities in both the House and Senate and a Labor-supporting governor in J.B. Pritzker.
“What a difference a year makes,” Hoffman said. “Last year, we talked about how we had to get rid of Bruce Rauner, and we did, and we got J.B. Pritzker for governor. We passed unbelievable, unprecedented pro-Labor legislation. I’m really proud to be a Democrat, but it makes me more proud to be a Labor Democrat, one who represents Organized Labor every day on the House floor.”
Hoffman also praised the Labor Council’s Labor Man of the Year Glyn Ramage, business manager of the 12-county Southwestern Illinois Laborers’ District Council.
“There is no better person that represents Organized Labor, in my mind, and he is one hell of a Labor leader,” Hoffman said, recalling how Ramage once asked him to help with a company that had not hired a union worker for a certain job.
“I said, ‘Glen, do you really want me to make that call for one job when all the rest are good?’ He said, ‘Hey, Jay, that’s one family that I represent. If I let this one go, it will be another family and then another and before you know it, they’ll be running all over us.’
“That’s Glyn Ramage,” Hoffman added. “That’s the kind of leader he is. So I made the call – and it was good.”