President's Corner

 

January 2021 Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Workers’ Rights Amendment – a Ban on “Right-to-Work”- Approved for 2022 General Election Ballot

In the fall of 2022, Illinois voters will have an opportunity to vote for a constitutional ban on “right-to-work” laws in the state. On Wednesday afternoon, the Illinois House of Representatives passed the Workers’ Rights Amendment with bipartisan support, following the passage by the Senate last week. Constitutional amendments do not require the Governor’s signature, so this legislative approval ensures that the Workers’ Rights Amendment will be on November 2022 General Election ballots.

The Workers’ Rights Amendment would add a section to Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution that prohibits a “right-to-work” law from being passed in the future in Illinois and establishes workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively over wages, hours, safety and other conditions of employment.

Over the past decade, various states have passed laws that limited the issues that union members could negotiate over, and these laws have weakened unions and lowered the standard of living for the middle class.

Countless studies have shown that workers living in free-bargaining states enjoy higher wages, better healthcare benefits, and much safer workplaces than their counterparts in “right-to-work” states. Passing this amendment will be a powerful signal of Illinois’ commitment to its workers for many years to come, no matter which political party is in power.

Local 150 has been fighting to promote this legislation for several years as a part of our effort to fight back against the trend of anti-union legislation that has passed across the nation, and we thank the legislators who supported it for their vision and leadership.

The Workers’ Rights Amendment would add the following section to the Illinois Constitution:

SECTION 25. WORKERS’ RIGHTS

  • (a) Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work. No law shall be passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and work place safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment.


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