Call it “right to work,” call it “employee empowerment,” call it “union-busting,” it’s not likely to go over well with some people at the state Capitol. Following what could be a road test of next week’s State of the State message, replete with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s promotion of “employee empowerment zones,” State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) said she had not heard of the governor’s remarks in Decatur, but “I’m anxiously awaiting what he has to offer to share with us.”
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“It’s probably the zones they did in – I believe – Ohio,” said another House Democratic leader, State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley). “Since his (advisory) council is from Ohio, that makes sense. But I don’t think it will be met very well here.”
Under current law, if employees vote to form a union, the union may, in collective bargaining, ask that the contract require workers covered by the contract to be members of the union. If the employer agrees to those terms, then workers must join the union as a condition of employment. In “right to work” states, such provisions are illegal.
Rauner on Tuesday in Decatur suggested “right to work zones,” in which “right to work” provisions could apply locally.