Chicago’s most prominent newspaper called out the Windy City’s newly sworn-in left-wing mayor for doing the bidding of unions and signing “radical” executive orders just hours into the job, calling one in particular a “disaster” for the fiscal stability of Chicago.
“As Mayor Brandon Johnson was celebrating ‘the soul of Chicago’ in his inaugural speech, his office was churning out a batch of deeply radical executive orders that signal trouble ahead for anyone worried about tax increases or concerned with the fiscal stability of America’s third largest city,” the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board wrote Wednesday, two days after Johnson was inaugurated. “The one that most immediately caught our attention was Johnson’s executive order creating a new deputy mayor for labor relations.”
The Tribune outlined what “any reasonable adult, be they Democrat or Republican,” would expect a deputy mayor for labor relations to do in a big city: balance the demands and expectations of a unionized workforce with the “need to hold the line on costs.”
In the public sector, however, there’s less incentive to hold the line on costs because spending money to gain popularity is more of an appeal than within private companies.
As part of his agenda, Johnson, a Democrat, seems to be adopting a clear pro-labor position through some of the new positions he’s creating.
Then-mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., raise their hands to a crowd of supporters at Johnson’s rally at the UIC Forum, March 30, 2023, in Chicago. (Jim Vondruska / Getty Images)
The job description for the deputy mayor for labor relations, as released Monday, is being “responsible for working with all city agencies and departments to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of Chicago; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights, including working with relevant authorities to help enforce workers’ statutory rights.”
In other words, the city’s biggest paper wrote, Johnson’s job description for his new deputy is a “disaster and it needs to be immediately rewritten so as to reflect the dual responsibilities of the job, which is to navigate and mediate between legitimate union demands and the ability of the city to meet them without casting citizens from their homes or sending off Chicago businesses to Florida.”
The Tribune then called on Johnson to recognize that unions can ask for “unreasonable things” of their employers and be willing to respond, “No, Chicago cannot afford that much.”
Johnson has said as mayor he will fund more social workers instead of police officers, let illegal immigrants vote in school board elections, make Chicago a sanctuary for transgender people and ensure women can have easy access to abortions in the city.