Tens of thousands of Illinois government workers have voted in favor of authorizing a strike if contract talks don't progress.
The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reported Thursday that 81 percent of union members voting favored a strike.
Roberta Lynch is AFSCME executive director. She says the vote empowers the union's executive board to call a strike "if no other path forward can be found."
"I demand respect, I deserve respect. That’s the message that I think this vote sends most clearly," Lynch said.