Illinois will be voting on a vital workers’ rights bill in November 2022. The bill is an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that ensures that all workers have the right to organize and bargain for better working conditions. This is important because the state of workers’ rights within a city or state determines how a person lives their life.
A person could be enjoying a four-day work week and 17 an hour minimum wage in a place with very good workers’ rights. A person in a state with bad workers’ rights could be doing extra jobs because their main job simply doesn’t pay enough even with overtime. The difference between the two is less time for themselves or their family, stress, and a lower quality of life in general.
Please Pay Attention to Workers’ Rights
This bill deserves people’s attention, primarily, because it could lead to a more equitable Illinois. Arguably, the state has many issues, however, if this bill passes through the Illinois state congress, there is a possibility that some of those issues will be mediated. For example, in Chicago, if the train workers bargained for a safer environment the city as a whole might become a better place.
There are many different types of places in Illinois that could use that treatment. A better world is possible through the gains of the working class. Better infrastructure, jobs that pay a living wage, and so much more could be achieved with this workers’ rights bill. If Illinois votes for this and keeps up a sustained effort anything is possible.
A United Class
This workers’ rights bill has no real downsides for Black and brown working-class people. The only people that will be against this bill are the rich and those influenced by the rich. This bill allows the working class to fight back against exploitation. Workers who would fear the consequences of starting a strike or signing up for a union would have less to fear. The working class would become much more powerful and would have the potential to become united.
A united working class can, arguably, get anything it wants. The reason why is, perhaps, because the working class makes the world run. The billionaires don’t do all the work themselves. They have millions of employees that do the work for them. The problem occurs when people have to have multiple jobs because one just isn’t enough. A fair workers’ rights bill has the potential of eliminating this problem. With rising rent prices and inflation, it might make perfect sense for wages to increase and therefore necessitate a workers’ rights initiative.
Productivity Wages and Workers’ Rights
Even though productivity is higher than it has ever been before, wages have been stagnant. People are working harder than they ever have only to receive the same pay, according to Mckinsey.com. This is exploitation at its finest. With the new bill in Illinois, the minimum wage could be lifted to a living wage. This means that people wouldn’t have to supplement their main income with a secondary income. Ultimately this means more time for family and personal projects. This is a win for everyone involved, except for the capitalists.
A Fight for the Future of Illinois
The Illinois worker amendment bill will be voted on in November of 2022. With the consequences hanging in the balance, it is safe to say that this will be a very important moment in Illinois history. Whether or not this amendment goes through will say a lot about the current state of Illinois politics. If it is signed into law, then the Illinois working class may have hopeful future. If it isn’t signed into law, then the working class organizations of Illinois will understand how much more work they will have to do in the coming years. No matter the outcome for the state’s workers’ rights bill, the people of Illinois have to continue fighting for a better future and a safer workplace.
Written by Kenneth Mazerat
NBCChicago: What is the Workers’ Rights Amendment in Illinois? What to Know for the 2022 Election by
Bruns, A., & Pilkauskas, N. (2019). Multiple Job Holding and Mental Health among Low-Income Mothers. Women’s health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, 29(3), 205–212.
EPI: Growing inequalities, reflecting growing employer power, have generated a productivity–pay gap since 1979 by Lawrence Mishel
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First Inset Image Courtesy of sushiesque’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License