As a proud Oak Parker, I know we need to do whatever we can to strengthen the economy for all of our residents. On Nov. 8, we have a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment that will put more money into the pockets of workers while also protecting worker safety across our state. I am writing to urge neighbors to support the Workers’ Rights Amendment, the very first item on the ballot.

The Workers’ Rights Amendment protects the rights of workers to join together and fight for higher wages, more safety protections and better working conditions on the job. Research shows that, on average, workers make $11,000 more each year in states with collective bargaining rights compared to anti-worker states.

Right now, with costs going up across the board, we need action to put more money into the pockets of the middle class.

The Workers’ Rights Amendment protects workers when they speak out about unsafe conditions on the job. It protects workers like those in food service or construction who need the ability to speak out on the job about safety issues without fear of retaliation.

Additionally, the Workers’ Rights Amendment will protect first responders as they fight for better safety protections and training on the job. Let’s keep them safe so they can keep all of us safe.

If the initiative passes, these rights will be codified in the state constitution, so no anti-worker politician can come along in the future and attack us without coming to us — the voters — first. We all know Illinois is a strong union state, but so was Wisconsin before Scott Walker was elected.

Our fundamental rights are under attack at every level. This is a chance to put workers’ rights in a lockbox, beyond the reach of any extremist politician.

Please join me in supporting the Workers’ Rights Amendment, and let’s give workers the protections they need and deserve.

Jay Rowell
Oak Park

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