Illinois state workers continue to rally for jobs
JONESBORO, Ill. — At a hot Saturday morning rally, dozens of Illinois state workers are appealing to a higher power over the future of their jobs.
"It's very difficult. Came as a surprise," said Richard Griffin.
Griffin will soon lose his 12 year correctional officer job at Tamms prison. He's one of more than 400 workers who received a layoff notice telling him his services are no longer needed. "The first notice came, I believe, February 28th when the governor and news media announced that Tamms was up for closure. Since then, it's been a very difficult time," he said.
Griffin is hoping to be reassigned, but he knows it's out of his hands. However, he's using them to pray for another opportunity downstate. "It seems like all we can do. The legislature has done their jobs and all the politicians and the people and we're going to leave in the hands of God now," Griffin said.
"Not only did the governor cut us to the bone, he cut us into the quick and into marrow," said William Kilquist.
He's a former Jackson County Sheriff and warden of the Murphysboro Youth Center. "I can tell you without a doubt that staff at Illinois Youth Center Murphysboro did more, better work than any facility in the state of Illinois and we saved more kids and I know we saved more kids," Kilquist said.
Kilquist and Griffin know there isn't much they can do now to save their jobs, but they want Governor Quinn to know his decision affects not only their place of employment, but extends into every home and community in the county's where these workers live. "Give us a chance to show the state of Illinois that we can be a viable product for the state of Illinois and a viable resource," he said.
"Until they say don't come back anymore, I'll be going to work down there" Griffin said.