SPRINGFIELD – To expand workers’ rights protections and economic opportunity for communities, casino applicants will be required to use union labor when seeking a new or renewed casino license thanks to a measure co-sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) that was signed into law Thursday.

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“Illinois workers need access to economic opportunity and deserve assurance their jobs are secure,” Belt said. “This measure is exactly what our state needs to protect the hard working individuals, especially to ensure jobs in the Metro East continue to be available in the future.”

Casino owner applicants must provide evidence that they have entered into a project labor agreement which conforms to requirements of the Project Labor Agreements Act. The agreements will apply to employees engaged in construction and will also ensure the protection of Illinois jobs by eliminating the ability to bring in out-of-state workers at low wages.

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“With this initiative, Illinois is working to create jobs and ensuring good paying jobs stay in downstate,” Crowe said. “By upholding promises to our local labor unions, we can express our appreciation for their local contributions.”

Required contents of project labor agreements include:

  • Goals for apprenticeship hours to be performed by underrepresented minorities and women
  • Procedures for resolving jurisdiction labor disputes and grievances
  • Ensuring a reliable source of skilled and experienced labor
  • Guarantees against strikes and lockouts
  • Allowing the selection of the lowest qualified responsible bidder, without regard to union or non-union status at other construction sites
  • Binding all contractors and subcontractors on the project through appropriate bid specifications in all relevant bid documents

Any pending new casino application before the Illinois Gaming Board must provide evidence of the project labor agreement within 30 days after the effective date.

The law is effective immediately.

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