At its regular meeting on April 15, 2015, the Champaign County AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed HR 676, national single payer health care legislation, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
Champaign County AFL-CIO President Matt Kelly of UA Local 149, Plumbers and Pipefitters, spoke with the All Unions Committee on the reason for the endorsement of HR 676: “Working people in general are struggling and anything that will help we are on board with.”
David Johnson, a retired carpenter, a host of the Central Illinois World Labor Hour radio program, and a delegate to the Champaign County AFL-CIO brought the issue of endorsing HR 676 to the attention of the council.
At the meeting on April 15, Johnson passed out a copy of a resolution for HR 676 and a copy of the report about the Chattanooga CLC being the 150th CLC in the country and the 5th in Tennessee to pass it.
“I think the majority of the delegates thought that if five CLC’s in Tennessee have already passed it that we should definitely be doing something in Illinois,” said Johnson.
There was some discussion of health care on the floor of the meeting prior to the passage. A delegate from the teachers’ union spoke of a student who could not get a vital prescription filled because of an inadequate insurance plan.
The Champaign County AFL-CIO is the third labor council in Illinois to endorse HR 676. The other two are the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor in East Alton and the Springfield and Central Illinois Trades and Labor Council in Springfield.