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Illinois Lawmakers Put Right of Workers to Unionize, Engage in Collective Bargaining on 2022 Ballot

If passed by voters in November 2022, an amendment to the Illinois Constitution would preclude the State of Illinois and any local governmental entity from passing a “right-to-work” law, establishing a fundamental right of employees to unionize and engage in collective bargaining.

On May 26, 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed a joint resolution to place the constitutional amendment on the ballot. The proposed amendment would modify the Illinois Constitution to recognize a “fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing.” It also would prohibit the passage of any 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 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.

Passage of the proposed Constitutional amendment would require a majority of those who vote in the November 2022 election to vote in favor of the proposed amendment or 60 percent of those who vote on the proposed amendment to vote in favor it.

The proposed amendment is a clear attempt to make the passage of right-to-work laws, which exist in neighboring states (i.e., Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin), nearly impossible in Illinois.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 168
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About this Author

James D. Thomas Attorney Labor and Employment Lawyer Jackson Lewis
Principal

James D. Thomas is a Principal in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He concentrates his practice in the representation of employers in labor and employment matters.

Mr. Thomas regularly represents clients in federal and state courts. His practice includes counseling employers on labor and employment issues, defending labor and employment litigation, and negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements. Mr. Thomas has experience involving claims for breach of contract; trade secret and restrictive covenant issues; sexual and...

312-787-4949
Associate

Elliot R. Slowiczek is an Associate in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

While attending law school, Elliot was a Production Editor on the Journal of Law, Technology, and Policy. In 2017, he worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Virginia Kendall, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Elliot represented the University of Illinois in 2018 at the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in...

312-803-2524
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