On the Block: A Discussion on the Proposed "Labor Rights" Amendment
Recently, Chamber President & CEO Todd Maisch had the opportunity to appear on WCIU-TV in Chicago for an episode of "On the Block" hosted by Brandon Pope. The segment was centered around SJRCA11, a proposed amendment to the state constitution that will appear on ballots this fall. Maisch spoke in opposition. This amendment would permanently enshrine pro-labor legislative desires into the state constitution and says the following:
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.
Illinois is already a tremendously pro-labor state. Union Security Agreements are common and no law threatens them at any time. This amendment does not give workers any “rights” they do not already have in practice. SJRCA 11 essentially says that right to work laws will never be allowed in Illinois at the State or local level in case political winds were to some day shift.
One point that Maisch made during the interview was that this amendment is not in the best interest of workers and would remove future flexibility from employees. Yet, he also highlighted the camaraderie between the business and labor communities and our joint effort to pass the Lockbox Amendment in 2016. Maisch was joined by Joe Bowen from "Vote Yes for Workers Rights" an organization supporting the ballot initiative.
View the labor rights segment here.
View the full episode here.