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Illinois Voters Support ‘Workers’ Rights’ Amendment in Early Returns

Date: November 10, 2022

The American Labor Movement is the strongest it’s been in decades and the impact of that solidarity is on full display during these Midterm Elections.  Across the country, union workers are wielding their collective power for better working conditions, and workers are organizing new companies and industries to demand fair pay and a fair contract.

In the state of Illinois, the collective efforts of Unions are an example.  Our AFA, CWA, TWU and IAM brothers, sisters and family have been busy this past year building off the positive labor momentum by campaigning and educating the public on the “Workers’ Rights” Amendment that was on the Midterm ballot asking voters if Illinois should enshrine into the state constitution the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain.  This is a proposal backed by organized labor in an effort to preempt future “right-to-work” laws.

Referred to as the “Workers’ Rights Amendment” by supporters and “Amendment 1? by opponents, the proposal up for voter ratification would give workers a “fundamental right” to organize.  It is an outgrowth of the former single-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s unsuccessful attempts years ago to curb union power that led to an unprecedented two-year state budget stalemate.

As the final votes continue to be tallied, it appears that Illinois voters are siding with a measured amendment to the Illinois Constitution that will chart a new direction for organized labor not only in the state but across the country. While the vote results were still coming in as of this morning, with 93% of the votes counted, 58.5% voted in favor of the amendment and 41.5% voted "no."

“Based on the current vote count and our campaign’s internal data, it is clear that the Workers’ Rights Amendment will pass. We believe that after every vote is counted, the Amendment will be approved by an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters.” Said Tim Drea, Illinois AFl-CIO President. 

Mr. Drea, Illinois AFL-CIO President also stated, “when we vote yes for the Illinois Workers’ Rights Amendment, we are standing up to special interests, big businesses and politicians that want you to think that progress is not possible.”  The proposed Illinois amendment would guarantee not only the right to organize for the most common elements of collective bargaining, like wages, hours and working conditions, but also for “economic welfare and safety at work.”

We are not alone in the negotiations arena and are, in fact, in it with other work groups that are in situations similar to our own. The Unions at American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest and pilots at Delta Airlines are all in stalled negotiations because their management, like ours, continues to use delay tactics instead of getting serious in the negotiation’s arena.

The Solidarity of Union workers and their supporters in getting this Amendment passed, shows us that when we work together, we can achieve our collective goals. 

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