State of the Unions
State of the Unions: Thank you to the legislators and labor leaders who joined my Salute to Labor zoom event last week. The conversation was lively and we all learned a lot about issues and possible solutions to ensure our workers have safe working conditions as well as health insurance, pensions, and other benefits. My favorite takeaway was that millennials are very interested in labor organizing. They know there is strength in the union.
Here are some other topics we covered:
If someone feels their company is not fair to workers, either through lack of a living wage or unfair treatment, we should let them know that they have the right to organize and bring in help from the union.
The millennials want to bind together as a force. They understand that there is strength in unionizing.
The union brings fairness to a work site. Everybody gets paid the same, men and women, people of all races and ethnic groups.
Growth of the unions during the 1930's came from within the factories. The business owners didn't say, "Let's bring in a union." Of course not. It was the workers who demanded a better quality of life for themselves and their families who brought the unions into the workplace.
Bigger projects should use skilled union labor to make sure the work is done well and done safely.
Illinois is an at-will state, which mean an employee can be hired or fired without any reason given. If you want respect and dignity, then join a union. We are trying to get a bill passed in Illinois to outlaw making Illinois a right-to-work state. A Right to Work law says that a worker doesn't have to join a union or pay dues to a labor union, even when that worker is benefiting from the efforts of the union. This can greatly weaken the unions' ability to organize and help the workers and their families.
It's important to patronize union stores. Jewel is a local union store and pays their workers a fair wage. Every time you go there, you are supporting the labor movement in your town.
Worker safety is non-negotiable. We need good union infrastructure projects to restore the middle class.
The teachers' unions are doing their job and helping to protect teachers from going into dangerous situations with the coronavirus.
I am a strong union supporter and a card-carrying member of the Illinois Education Association. If I'm elected, I will be a union advocate on the Kane County Board.