Thursday, April 25, 2019

Legislation Prohibits Right to Work Zones in Illinois

Last year in Janus v. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unions representing public sector employees cannot force employees who decline union membership to pay fair share fees. Last week the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act became effective in Illinois, securing those rights for private sector unions. The Act prohibits local governmental units from declaring right to work zones. Those zones would extend the Janus ruling to all employees within the geographic area of the declared right to work zone. Attempts to prohibit the collection of fair share fees for all workers in the private sector who declined union membership within the local governmental boundaries have been struck down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals but the issue case has been appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Stating that the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act is just a reiteration of state law when he signed the Act into law earlier this month, Gov. Pritzer said “Right to work has always meant right to work for less money.” The Act specifically states in part as follows:
It is important to note that the Act specifically excludes public sector employee/union relationships and the ruling of Janus remains the law in Illinois and the rest of the nation. While the issue of whether governmental units smaller than the state have the right to regulate imposition of fair share fees (or union security agreements as unions refer to it) is on appeal to the US Supreme Court, who may or may not take the case, the Act secures the rights of unions representing private sector employees to continue the practice of mandating fair share fees.