Illinois Legislature Democrats Defend Unions Against RTW Laws

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.− Democrats who still control the Illinois legislature vow to continue to protect working families.


First, they plan on stopping GOP Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposal on “right to work” (RTW) laws in Illinois. These laws ban unions from negotiating contracts that include mandatory dues collection.


RTW laws let “free riders” use union services without paying for them. This deprives the unions of income they need to provide the services and defend workers at all, which could potentially destroy unions.


Leaders of the Illinois Senate Labor and Commerce Committee and AFSCME, which represents state and local workers, will not let that happen. “Public servants will be disappointed to learn the governor is pursuing an aggressive agenda to undermine their rights,” said AFSCME Illinois Executive Director Roberta Lynch.


Senator Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, the committee vice chair added, “Unions built our middle class by fighting for the 5-day, 40 hour workweek and other basic protections. I will vehemently oppose any legislation that would cripple labor unions and hurt working families.”


State Senator Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights, called anti-union laws a step in the wrong direction. “Union-busting legislation is not progress. It only serves to surpass workers’ right,” added Hutchinson.


Studies show workers in RTW states are at greater risk of on-the-job injuries and illnesses. A study University of Illinois reports RTW would have cost Illinois money: $440 million more in expenses for food stamps and other government aid if the law had been in effect in 2013 because of lower pay and lost worker protections.


Source: PAI