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NFIB opposes labor amendment: ‘Very problematic for small business owners’

By TRINA THOMAS
The Center Square contributor

A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution is causing some concern among businesses over fears that it would give too much power to public labor unions.

Supporters of the amendment say it secures the right for workers to collectively bargain for wages, hours and working conditions.

But Illinois State Director of National Federation of Independent Business Chris Davis said the measure would cause issues for Illinois small businesses.

“Constitutional Amendment No. 1 is very problematic for small business employers,” Davis told The Center Square. “It’s a dramatic expansion of the Federal Labor Relations Act, National Relations Act.”

The Liberty Justice Center and the Illinois Policy Institute have brought legal challenges to remove the proposed amendment from the ballot. After unsuccessful attempts in lower Illinois courts, they are appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Many who oppose the amendment say it would give labor unions even more power, resulting in higher taxes. But for Davis, the uncertainty of it all is a great deterrent.

“National Labor Relations Act protects our workers’ rights to bargain over wages, hours and working conditions. Constitutional Amendment 1 would dramatically expand that to include an undefined economic well-being,” he said

Chamber president and CEO Todd Maisch recently said to WIFR that the proposal would give unions more leverage to make demands of their employers.

“Nobody really knows what that means,” Davis said. “It could dramatically handcuff employers across Illinois. There’s really just an uncertainty on exactly what economic well-being means and how broadly this will be expanded.”

Illinois voters will get a say on the ballot Nov. 8.

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