3 truths you need to know about “Workers’ Rights Amendment” ads


To the wire, and three myths are still being pushed by advocates of “workers’ rights amendment.” Affects all workers? Fake. Are other states doing this? Fake. Won’t he raise property taxes? Fake.

Election day is almost upon us and the political messages keep pouring in about the “Workers’ Rights Amendment”. Too bad those pushing it are still spreading three myths about the proposal atop the Nov. 8 ballot.

Here are the most often repeated myths, followed by the truths Illinois should know before voting on Amendment 1.

Myth: The rights created by Amendment 1 apply to all workers

Do: Rights created by Amendment 1 cannot apply to private sector workers

The wording of Amendment 1 appears to apply to all “employees” in Illinois, in both the private and public sectors.

But the National Labor Relations Act governs collective bargaining in the private sector nationwide. Whenever the federal government occupies a space, it preempts the laws of the states that would attempt to do so.

Even the Illinois Senate amendment’s sponsor said it couldn’t apply to the private sector.

State Sen. Ram Villivam, D-Chicago, said, “As members of the House should know, the National Labor Relations Act governs organizing and collective bargaining in the private sector and, as as such, prevails over any direct state regulation of the subject. . Therefore, as the federal law currently stands, labor – excuse me, therefore, as the federal labor law currently stands, the amendment could not apply to the private sector.

The United States Supreme Court has already made clear that the NLRA prevents states such as Illinois from granting rights or regulating unionization in the private sector: “States cannot regulate activities that the NLRA protects , prohibited or, without doubt, protects or prohibits. »

Because the federal government already regulates collective bargaining in the private sector, Illinois cannot do so through Amendment 1.

This means that the “fundamental right” it creates for “employees” really only applies to Illinois government employees, who make up just 7% of the state’s adult workforce.

The only part of Amendment 1 that could apply to the private sector is the last provision, which prohibits laws that would allow unionized workers in the private sector to decide for themselves whether to join or pay for a union. But this provision is a restriction – not a right granted – to unionized workers in the private sector, and it goes against the trend of the majority of states.

Myth: Three other state constitutions contain provisions like Amendment 1

Do: No state has provisions like Amendment 1

Proponents claim that other state constitutions, such as those of Hawaii, Missouri, and New York, include provisions on collective bargaining similar to Amendment 1. All it takes is a quick look at the wording of these state constitutions to see that proponents are not outspoken in their claims:

Hawaii, Art. XIII:

Private employees

Section 1. Persons in private employment have the right to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Public employees

Section 2. Persons in public employment have the right to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining in accordance with the law.

Missouri, Art. 1 second. 29

Organized Labor and Collective Bargaining – Employees have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choice.

New York, Art. 1 second. 17

Employees have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choice.

Compare this to the wording of Amendment 1:

(1) Employees have the fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing (2) for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours and working conditions, and protecting their property -be economical and their safety at work. (3) 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, (4) 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. (Numbering added).

No state has any of these provisions, let alone all four.

In fact, Hawaii includes a phrase – “as provided by law” – giving deference to state lawmakers. Amendment 1 does the opposite by prohibiting legislators from taking action (#3 above).

Myth: Amendment 1 will help our economy

Do: Amendment 1 will raise taxes and drive out corporations

Government collective agreements are already costing taxpayers money. Case in point: The total annual cost of the Chicago Teachers Union’s previous contract was $2.6 billion in its final year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

But Amendment 1 expands demands government unions could make beyond wages and benefits to include new, undefined topics such as “economic well-being.” These increased demands mean that government contracts would cost even more.

And that means taxpayers would be stuck in an endless feedback loop of higher government costs and rising taxes if Amendment 1 passes in November.

The Illinois are already facing financial difficulties. We have the second highest property taxes in the country. We lead the nation in foreclosures.

And we already have a reputation as one of the worst places in the country to do business. This has been demonstrated by large companies, such as Caterpillar, Boeing, Citadel, FTX, Highland Ventures and Tyson announce their move to more business-friendly states this year. Research shows that state government union-brokered contracts have hurt our economy and reduced job creation.

What Illinois needs is relief. No more taxes.

While the rights created in the amendment apply to only 7% of the state’s adult working population, the taxes it requires will hit everyone.

The rights created do not apply to the vast majority of Illinoisans. No other state has tried it. And it will drive up taxes and hurt our economy.

And that means it will hurt far more people than it could ever help if it were to pass on Nov. 8.


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