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, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A new passenger car has been placed on the Coal Valley railroad, and R.R. Cable is running the trains at present. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. G.W. Gue preached a convincing sermon on the need of a new First Methodist Church in Rock Island 1913 -- 100 years ago: Dr. W.S. Marquis preached his farewell sermon at Broadway Presbyterian Church to the combined congregations from First Methodist, First Baptist, United Presbyterian and South Park Presbyterian churches. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's mayor is seeking to enforce the rules governing PWA projects in the city which state that local men are to be hired for the work. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Argus Santa Claus requests that the names of needy Rock Island boys and girls through 12 years of age be registered by parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11or Dec. 14. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Alcoa and its employee union have reached tentative agreement on a 43-month labor contract covering about 7,500 workers at six plants, including 1,900 employees at Alcoa's Davenport Works, company and union officials said today.