Illinois workers’ rights amendment passes voters in 2022 election – NBC Chicago
In the November election, Illinois voters will be asked if they want to add constitutional protections for workers seeking to unionize.
Specifically, the workers’ rights amendment question in the 2022 ballot will ask voters if they want to establish a constitutional right for employees to organize and bargain collectively, so that they can negotiate “the wages, hours and working conditions and to protect their economic well-being and safety at work.”
The synopsis of the bill, as drawn up by the General Assembly, reads as follows:
“(The law project) proposes to amend the Bill of Rights section of the Illinois Constitution. Provides that employees have the fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours and working conditions, and protecting their economic well-being and their safety at work. Provides that no law shall be passed that interferes with, denies or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours and other conditions of employment and workplace safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the enforcement or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations representing employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment. Provides that these provisions control the powers of autonomy.
The amendment would specifically alter Article 1 of the state constitution. This section essentially mirrors the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, while also providing protections in other areas, including the prohibition of discrimination based on sex and discrimination based on physical or mental disabilities.
The amendment would also modify Article 7, which sets guidelines for the powers given to local governments under the constitution’s “home rule” provisions.
To pass, the amendment would need 60% approval by the electorate in November.
Although the amendment was put on the ballot in bipartisan votes by both houses of the General Assembly, the bill was criticized by the right of the political spectrum.
The state’s Republican Party has come out against the measure, citing research from the conservative Illinois Policy Institute think tank that shows the amendment could cause property tax rates to accelerate faster to help pay for concessions. given to public union workers who might be looking for higher waves. and better social benefits through enshrining collective bargaining in the state constitution.
Some business groups, including the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturers Association, also oppose the amendment.
In contrast, labor groups representing both public and private workers broadly supported the measure, including the Chicago Teachers’ Union, the Illinois Chapter of the AFL-CIO, and the SEIU.
Illinois Democrats, including Governor JB Pritzker, also voiced support for the amendment.
“Worker safety and economic security are a fundamental right of all workers, from domestic workers to medical doctors,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea said in a statement. “Everyone deserves a safe workplace and economic security.”
If the amendment were to pass, it would effectively ban “right to work” laws, experts say.
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