Videos show Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was booed off the stage at a plumbers’ union fundraiser amid fallout over the city’s vaccine mandate for municipal workers.
A 25-second clip posted to Twitter captured the moment the Democratic mayor was loudly jeered Sunday as she was introduced to Plumbers Union Local 130 — the Windy City’s first union to endorse her in the 2019 runoff election.
“I knew that was going to happen,” one attendee insisted just as the crowd drowned out Lightfoot’s introduction.
“That’s f–king brutal,” one man sitting at a table exclaimed.
One person at the fundraiser told the Chicago Sun-Times Lightfoot “spoke for less than a minute” before the crowd’s ire was too much for her.
“And there was a resounding booing throughout the room,” the attendee recalled. “Almost deafening … I was sitting at the table with a bunch of plumbers. They’re like,
‘We’ve never heard that before here.’”
“Clearly, their membership is not with her,” the anonymous attendee continued. “They were calling her names. It was bad.”
Lori Lightfoot 'booed off' stage amid Chicago vaccine mandate fallout https://t.co/nM5ByRs6FR pic.twitter.com/DzYbYnH2MQ— New York Post (@nypost) October 29, 2021
A union official disputed that account, arguing that Lightfoot was able to “finish her remarks” and got a “cheer” at the end while acknowledging some had booed her.
“But it was nothing significant,” the union’s recording secretary, Pat McCarthy, told the Sun-Times. “And it didn’t disrupt the event at all.”
McCarthy said he believes any detractors at the event weren’t union members.
“We respect her and we have no problems with the mayor,” McCarthy told the newspaper.
Lightfoot’s political director, Dave Mellet, insisted she was “well received” and pushed back on the characterization of his boss being booted by an unruly crowd.
“There may have been a couple of people in the room who came in there to shout and be loud,” Mellet said, noting that he believes the union will endorse Lightfoot’s 2023 re-election bid.
The union’s president said he was downstairs counting money for a football pool when Lightfoot went on the stage.
“I didn’t hear nothin’,” union boss Jim Majerowicz told the Sun-Times. “I was in a different room, so I can’t say. You’re telling me some shocking stuff. I find it hard to believe.”
Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate, all city employees must either be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing through the end of the year. The head of the city’s police union, John Catanzara, has led several protests this week against the order, WLS-TV reported.
Catanzara has instructed his members to defy the city’s mandate, leading Lightfoot to accuse him of trying to “induce an insurrection” even after the union’s former president died of COVID-19.
The matter is being fought in court — with a judge ruling Monday that she would not extend a temporary restraining order against Catanzaro banning him from making public statements discouraging cops from complying with the vaccine policy, the Chicago Tribune reported.