SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Tens of thousands of Illinois government workers have voted in favor of authorizing a strike if contract talks don't progress.
The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reported Thursday that 81 percent of union members voting favored a strike.
Roberta Lynch is AFSCME executive director. She says the vote empowers the union's executive board to call a strike "if no other path forward can be found."
AFSCME's 38,000 members have been unable to agree on a contract with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for two years.
Rauner's general counsel is Dennis Murashko. He issued a statement saying the vote was "an attack on our state's hardworking taxpayers."
It's the first such vote in 40 years of state-employee collective bargaining.