Retired state employees and members of the National Guard may be called upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner to step up in case of a workers' strike.
The governor's administration has called some retired state employees to determine if they are willing to come back on short-term contracts if workers represented by AFSCME — the state's largest union — decide to strike.
Anders Lindall, a spokesperson for AFSCME, denied the union is planning to strike, but he said the governor's attempts to reach out to "strike breakers" suggests he wants a fight.
"To see the governor out there trying to recruit strike breakers suggests he wants confrontation, he wants a crisis, he wants disruption," Lindall said.
Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly did not deny that the office reached out to retired state workers and the National Guard, saying the administration is "pursuing all options."
"We are actively pursuing all options to continue important state services in the event that AFSCME chooses to strike, rather than agree to proposals similar to those recently ratified in the Teamsters," Kelly's full statement reads.
Rauner's administration and AFSCME have been negotiating a new agreement, but the one-month extension expires Friday.