Organized labor chases 4,000 jobs out of Illinois

Illinois thought it was in the high-stakes competition for a 4,000-job assembly plant that Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda are aiming to build in the United States. But news comes today from Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business that Illinois won't get this plum.

As Hinz reported:

The apparent reasons: lack of shovel-ready sites and the state's failure to



adopt a right-to-work law.

Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Intersect Illinois, the state's privately run economic development corporation, said in an interview and email that while no formal announcement has been made, his sources tell him Illinois is not among the three or four finalists for the $1.3 billion facility.

Oh, well. Organized labor, whose bidding is done by the likes of House Speaker Mike Madigan and his Democratic lamb chops, should be pleased that they've protected their members' free ride by forcing people who don't want to be in a union to still pay union dues.

For commentators such as Tribune columnist Eric Zorn it is the workers who are being forced to pay union dues who are the freeloaders. Zorn wrote:

Most news organizations refer to such laws with the equally tendentious conservative term, “right-to-work.” But whatever nomenclature you prefer and whatever reason workers have for not contributing — ideological conviction or thrift — those who accept the benefits of organized labor but don’t chip in to earn and maintain them are parasites.

And court watchers are nearly unanimous in predicting that the would-be parasites will win when the justices decide Janus v. AFSCME later this term. The court deadlocked 4-4 on an almost identical case after Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly in early 2016, and Neil Gorsuch, Scalia’s replacement, appears nearly a lock to provide the decisive fifth vote in favor of Janus.

The simple answer, of course, is "members only" unions in which non-member workers don't share in negotiated wage increases and other benefits and won't be represented in workplace disputes by union attorneys.

Organized labor is at least honest in explaining its opposition: It will weaken unions. Never mind that it would be fairer to let workers decide for themselves.


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  • And why would Japanese automakers want to impose a "Right to Work" law on the state of Illinois? The answer is simplicity itself, why would anyone JOIN a union and pay union dues when they can get all the benefits of belonging to a union without the dues? Of course, no one would. So the intent of "Right to Work" laws is essentially to destroy unions. That way the Japanese automakers can pay Illinois auto workers substantially less than say Ford pays to auto workers in Michigan. They can also offer sub-standard health insurance, no pensions, or any other benefit. And, in time, no Illinois employer would have to pay competitive wages or offer benefits, which works out just fine for employers but not so good for employees.

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