Illinois Workers’ Rights Amendment expected to pass

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) – It appears Illinois voters have given a thumbs up to amend the state constitution, guaranteeing workers in the state the right to collectively bargain.

As it stands with 85% of the returns counted, 59% of voters were in favor of the Workers’ Rights Amendment, while 41% of voters were against it.

The Illinois measure requires 60% of those voting on the question to vote “yes” for it to pass or 50% of all votes cast to be in favor of the question.

The amendment vote was being closely watched in Illinois and beyond, as it will gauge public support for the labor movement, which has lost ground for years in conservative-led states.

Unions and pro-industry groups said it could signal a new chapter in the struggle over workers’ rights as U.S. union ranks have grown as everyone from coffee shop baristas to warehouse workers seeks to organize. They viewed it as a way to ensure that workers will always be able to use their collective clout to secure better pay, hours and working conditions. They also said it would prevent the Legislature, should it undergo a shift to the right, from passing a so-called right-to-work law that would allow workers covered by union contracts to not pay dues.

Business groups and conservatives opposed the measure, saying they think it will drive up taxes, give unions too much power, lead to more strikes and prompt companies to leave for more industry-friendly states.

Union rights have taken a beating in Republican-led states in recent years. Twenty-seven states now have right-to-work laws.

(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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November 9, 2022 at 04:12PM

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