Hundreds of union members and supporters gathered Friday nightat the Isle of Capri in Bettendorfto induct three local labor stalwarts into the East Central Iowa Northwestern Illinois AFL-CIO Hall of Fame.
Honorees included former Congressman Phil Hare, of Rock Island; former American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees representative Gloria Ann Maring, who worked at Oak Glen Home; and the late Charles Clarke, who was a member of United Steelworkers Local 105 for 36 years.
Before the trio was inducted, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, a special guest at the event, delivered a rousing speech to rally union troops campaigning for Democrats ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
A co-chairwoman of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign,Rep. Schakowsky said Republicans want the economy to perform poorly so they can use it as a cudgel to hammer the president.
"I see every single day in the Congress sabotage -- and I use that word deliberately -- that the Republicans do to make sure that the economy does not move forward," she said.
"Their worst day was last week when we saw that the unemployment rate actually dropped below that 8 percent mark to 7.8 percent," Rep. Schakowsky said. "Did you notice how crabby they were about that? They don't want to see the economy get better."
Rep. Schakowsky served four terms in the Illinois House before being elected to Congress in 1998.
Democrat Cheri Bustos, of East Moline, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, in the 17th Congressional District on Nov. 6, also spoke at the event, as did U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Mount Vernon. Many Democratic candidates for local and state offices also were in attendance.
Now in its 21st year, the induction ceremony was sponsored by the Quad City Federation of Labor. After the inductees were honored in the Grand Ballroom at the Isle of Capri, the crowd finished the night by singing the labor anthem, Solidarity Forever.
Today is Thursday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2014. There are 132 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Sheriff McLaughlin had the misfortune to dislocate his right shoulder some days ago when his carriage upset. He is now able to walk about but has a very sore shoulder. 1889 -- 125 years ago: A kindergarten was started in the downtown district of Rock Island with the Misses Dodie Hawes and Grace Knowlton as teachers. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pope Pius X died in Rome. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater was named Esquire. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The J.I. Case Co. plant in Bettendorf will add from 150 to 200 employees by Jan. 1 a spokesman for the company said today. The Bettendorf Works today had a payroll of 1,350, but an increased production schedule will require additional people. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America reached and passed its campaign goal in a drive that began 14 months ago by raising more than $2.2 million for the expansion of Loud Thunder Reservation near Andalusia.