HomeBudget & Tax NewsIllinois Union Rights Proposal Could Raise Tax Burden

Illinois Union Rights Proposal Could Raise Tax Burden

Illinois union rights proposal on the November ballot would raise employment costs and lead to tax increases, say opponents.

(The Center Square) – A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that some argue contradicts federal law governing labor relations could raise taxes on small businesses, opponents of the amendment say.

Amendment 1 is on the November ballot in Illinois. It reads: “Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.”

“No law shall be passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and work place safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment,” the proposed amendment states.

Critics of the proposal say the measure will unconstitutionally enshrine union powers in the Illinois Constitution, making it impossible for lawmakers to curb union powers and giving union contracts more weight than state law.

Supporters of the amendment say it is in support of workers to secure certain collective bargaining rights.

Illinois Policy’s Ann Miller said the amendment would allow lawmakers to increase taxes if they choose.

“Illinois businesses are already dealing with a high tax environment, and this amendment would just exasperate that,” Miller told The Center Square. “It opens the door for any kind of policy or anything above and beyond salaries.”

Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, told The Center Square that restaurants and other businesses have had difficulty hiring workers. Miller believes that problem could worsen.

“If we have increased property taxes, it is going to hurt their bottom lines which will hurt their funding,” Miller said. “They might have a harder time finding workers because the cost of business will go up, and employees have the option to strike any day.”

State Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, has favored the measure and told The Daily Herald that the Amendment would increase wages for workers across the state.

“The falling rate of unionization has lowered wages, not only because some workers no longer received the higher union wage, but also because there is less pressure on nonunion employers to raise wages,” Villivalam said.

Amendment 1 is scheduled to be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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Andrew Hensel
Andrew Hensel
Andrew Hensel is a staff reporter for The Center Square.

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