Most Illinois voters support ‘Worker’s Rights’ amendment

By Larry StewartNovember 09, 2022

The Illinois state capital building

A majority of Illinois voters support the state’s constitutional Amendment 1, which guarantees workers the right to collective bargaining and prevents right-to-work legislation. With 90% of Illinois votes counted (at press time), the measure had received 59% “yes” votes, closing in on the 60% necessary to amend the state constitution.

If passed, the so-called “Workers Rights Amendment” would make two pertinent changes:

  1. It would codify Illinois workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively
  2. I would prohibit any law being passed that would interfere with those rights

The amendment would add a “Workers’ Rights” section to the state Bill of Rights, that reads:

“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 and 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 workplace 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.”

Protecting the right to collective bargaining through amendments to state constitutions is a reflection of right-to-work tactics. Eight of the 27 states that passed right-to-work laws have done so by amending their state constitutions.

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