Happy Labor Day!

On Labor Day, we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements American workers have had on workers’ rights throughout history. Whether it has been fighting for better pay, less discrimination, or safety at work, hard-working Americans have banded together to support each other in the workplace for decades.

Over the last half-century, American workers have seen a steady erosion of job quality. Even as approval of labor unions has continued to rise to 71% of Americans supporting unions, which is the highest approval since 1965, there has been a steady decline in the share of workers who are represented by labor unions. Now, facing spiking inflation that’s reducing the value of paychecks and a pandemic that’s brought new safety hazards to workplaces, employers in many key industries are facing severe labor shortages.

In Illinois, voters will have the chance to take a stand for workers’ rights at the ballot box in November. If Illinoisans vote “yes” on Amendment 1 to the Illinois Constitution, also known as the Workers’ Rights Amendment (WRA), the state would prevent the passage of any law or ordinance “that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively.” This section would be added to the Illinois Constitution, guaranteeing the rights of workers’ to bargain for better wages, benefits, and safety at the workplace.

III FFC Executive Director, Marc Poulos, recently released an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business about why workers’ rights should be added to the Illinois Constitution. The founders of our great nation recognized that some rights need to be above politics. This includes the rights of workers to make a decent living in a safe workplace. Check out the entire article here.

In addition, a new report about Amendment 1 by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Project for Middle Class Renewal (PMCR) found that collective bargaining establishes basic labor market standards for wages, safety, and more, ultimately delivering benefits for union workers, nonunion workers, taxpayers, and the economy. This Labor Day we recognize the resilience of American workers throughout history and those who are currently fighting to guarantee workers’ rights that have long proven to deliver higher job quality, better safety outcomes, and a stronger overall economy.

We hope you have a great Labor Day!