Illinois voters will determine in 2022 whether collective bargaining is a constitutional right. The state Legislature in May passed an amendment to the Illinois constitution that would guarantee private and public sector workers in the state the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining over wages, hours and working conditions. The amendment would also prohibit the state or any local government from enacting so-called “right-to-work” laws, which prohibit contracts that make union membership a condition of employment.
The amendment will appear on the ballot in the 2022 general election.
Currently, 28 states, mainly in the Deep South and Great Plains, have some form of “right-to-work” laws or constitutional amendments on the books, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. Former Illinois governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, unsuccessfully attempted to pass a “right-to-work” law in the state.
Very few states have established the right to unionize in their constitutions.
State Rep. Marcus Evans, a democrat who sponsored the amendment in the state’s General Assembly, said, “What a great day in Illinois when the General Assembly can stand for workers’ rights.”
Capital News Illinois, May 26 The State Journal-Register, May 29