A top pro-labor consumer group asked American Crystal Sugar to resume bargaining with the 1,300 workers the firm locked out 10 months ago.
A dozen or so Republicans signaled their leadership that they wanted no part of the anti-union agenda.
The nation's union presidents emphasized the positive impact of mobilizing union members nationwide for politics after the bitterly contested Wisconsin recall election.
A Republican minority in the Senate blocked a vote today on equal pay for women after unions and their allies challenged Romney to back the legislation.
The legislative session was unable to reach an agreement. Gov. Quinn has promised to call a special summer session to pass pension reform legislation.