Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was booed off stage at a fundraising event for the union that was the first to back her campaign in 2019.
A video posted online shows Lightfoot being loudly jeered on Sunday as she was introduced to Plumbers Union Local 130, which was Chicago’s first union to endorse her in the 2019 runoff election.
“I knew that was going to happen,” one attendee can be heard saying as the crowd became louder and louder.
Another man sitting nearby said: “That’s f***ing brutal.”
One person at the fundraiser told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lightfoot “spoke for less than a minute” before the crowd’s boos became too much for her.
“And there was a resounding booing throughout the room,” the attendee said. “Almost deafening … I was sitting at the table with a bunch of plumbers. They’re like, ‘We’ve never heard that before here.’
“Cearly, their membership is not with her,” the attendee continued. “They were calling her names. It was bad.”
The union’s recording secretary, Pat McCarthy, clarified that the union still “respects her and we have no problems with the mayor.” Lightfoot’s political director also pushed back, insisting she was “well received.”
“There may have been a couple of people in the room who came in there to shout and be loud,” Dave Mellet said, adding that he believes the union will endorse Lightfoot again in 2023.
Reports about Lightfoot’s reception at the union fundraiser comes as she faces intense criticism for her COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Hundreds of city employees are at risk of losing their jobs if they do not comply with the mandate, including dozens of police officers. The Chicago police union has vowed to resist Lightfoot’s mandate, encouraging officers not to get vaccinated if they don’t want to.