SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is standing up to extreme attempts to cut middle-class wages and strip away workplace protections by backing legislation preventing local governments from passing controversial laws weakening collective bargaining rights.
“Unions are a powerful force for building up strong jobs in Illinois and maintaining good wages and safe working conditions, but some extreme politicians have pushed to dismantle union rights in order to pad corporate profits,” Hernandez said. “We need to stand up for working men and women and stop the assault on their rights. This bill ensures they will always be able to stand together and negotiate for fair pay and safe working conditions.”
Hernandez is supporting Senate Bill 1474, or the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act, which prohibits any laws limiting union agreements with an employer. This is in response to a national debate over “right-to-work” laws that have come up in other states, and former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s unprecedented assault on the rights of Illinois workers. “Right-to-work” laws make agreements forcing all employees to join a union illegal. Weakening a union’s bargaining position can weaken workplace safety and reduce workers’ pay. The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act would prohibit any right-to-work laws, and so help unions maintain strong bargaining positions.
“Right-to-work laws weaken unions and harm workers,” Hernandez said. “When unions lose their power, they cannot argue for the members. Big corporations take enormous advantage of weak unions to enrich themselves and hurt the middle class, and we will not allow that to happen.”