On Tuesday Illinois voters approved a Big Labor initiative to prohibit Right to Work laws in the Land of Lincoln. Many voters may not have realized this because the unions poured powdered sugar on the language of the measure so that it read as though it would simply protect the right of public sector workers to collectively bargain.
No. This sneaky law effectively REQUIRES workers to join the union (and of course pay dues to the labor bosses) whether they want to or not.
We became aware of this bait-and-switch tactic by the unions when several of our Illinois members told us they voted for the ballot measure because they were misled (intentionally?). Here is the exact wording that appeared on Tuesday’s ballot:
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970
EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENT
The proposed amendment would guarantee workers the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively and to negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions, and to promote their economic welfare and safety at work. The new amendment would also prohibit from being passed any new law 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. “
In effect, this means no Right to Work laws can be enacted by the legislature or counties or localities.
But why not? Right to Work laws have been enacted in 27 states, and they DON’T interfere with any individual or group of workers’ “right to organize and collectively bargain.” There ARE unions aplenty in Tennessee and Florida. The Right to Work laws simply allow workers to voluntarily opt out.
There are good reasons why individual workers may want to take a pass on union membership High performers may believe that they can get a better salary or a better deal from their employer if they negotiate on their own. They may oppose how the labor bosses spend their dues – and we have hundreds of examples of union fraud – just look at the rampant UAW scandals.
These are all valid worker concerns. We know, for example, that job growth over the past two decades has been roughly twice as rapid in right to work states than in forced-union states – like Illinois.
What is done is done in Illinois and it doesn’t augur at all well for a state that was once emblematic of America’s industrial leadership, but is sadly now the abandoned-factory capital of the country.
Our concern is that union bosses across the country have suddenly discovered a formula to impose coercive union power in other states. Illinois was the test case and now we are hearing that the teacher unions and other labor bosses are planning on copy-catting this in multiple states In 2024.