News & Updates

Legislative Newsflash | Proposed Amendment to Article 1


Legislative Newsflash
October 2022

On November 8th 2022, Illinois voting ballots will contain a proposal to amend Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution, related to worker’s rights. This proposed amendment would mean workers in Illinois have “the fundamental right” to organize and collectively bargain for agreements on wages, hours and working conditions.  The text of the proposed amendment (see below) is vague yet has significant implications on businesses. Opponents fear it will lead to more corruption, more taxation, lawsuits, increased striking and unchecked power for workers/unions.

Essentially, this Amendment:

  • Creates a “fundamental right” for any employee to organize and bargain. The broad definition of employee could potentially encompass all workers in public and private sectors.
  • Allows broad based collective bargaining negotiations. The vague nature of the language would offer Constitutionally protected and potentially limitless negotiations over work terms. The potential for stalemate negotiation and strikes would be crippling.
  • Constitutionally bans right-to-work laws. This proposed Amendment would add a right-to-work ban to the Illinois Constitution. Although Illinois already includes prohibitions on right-to-work laws, this amendment would essentially provide for a widespread ban within the Constitution.
  • Creates vast and long-lasting Union power. This proposed amendment would offer seemingly limitless power to Unions.  Rights set forth in the proposed amendment would be embedded in the Constitution and not simply codified in a statute with easier potential to modify in the future.
  • Creates vast potential for litigation over its terms.  As indicated, the language utilized to develop the rights the proposed amendment seeks to develop is vague and touches existing laws. It guarantees countless lawsuits over its applicability and Constitutionality.

As stated above, this proposed amendment is being placed on the Nov. 8th 2022 ballot.  A proposed amendment is effective if approved by 3/5ths of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election.  If passed, this proposed amendment will have significant far-reaching negative effects on the commercial real estate industry.

NAIOP Chicago recommends opposing this proposed amendment by actively voting “NO” on the November 8, 2022 ballot to ensure it does not move forward as a Constitutional amendment.  

Proposed Amendment Language to Change Article 1 of the Illinois State Constitution: 

(a) Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work. No law shall be passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and work place safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment.

(b) The provisions of this Section are controlling over those of Section 6 of Article VII.