Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – To uphold the rights of working people, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) introduced a Constitutional amendment that would ban “Right to Work” legislation in Illinois.

“Workers in all industries should have the right to organize and bargain for better wages and conditions,” Villivalam said. “Illinois is one of the last bastions of the labor movement, and we must act to preserve and protect it.”

The amendment would provide that no law passed may prohibit the ability of workers to collectively bargain over wages, hours, terms and conditions of work. The measure would effectively ban “Right to Work” laws in Illinois, which prohibit union security agreements in which an employer and a labor union agree on the extent to which employees are compelled to pay for the administering of collective bargaining.

In “Right to Work” states, individuals in a collective bargaining unit still receive the benefits of collective bargaining agreements, including the higher wages and benefits that unions earn through the bargaining process regardless of whether they pay for the representation. “Right to Work” laws effectively serve to decrease funds to a union, making it difficult to collectively bargain, thereby reducing the bargaining power of the collective.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 11 passed the Illinois Senate and awaits consideration in the Illinois House.