New law targets union workers' rights

Published 04/08 2013 04:37PM

Updated 04/08 2013 05:54PM

SPRINGFIELD -- A new law is shaking up union rights in the state. Supporters say it will give more power back to the state, but critics argue it's going to come at a price. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris explains.

 It's been a tough year for union members. They just negotiated their latest contract and now they've got a new battle brewing.

"The state's ability to service its citizens has not been impaired by workers having too many rights. There's nothing that's going to be solved by taking people out of collective bargaining, reducing their rights."

The union rep is talking about a new law. It lets Governor Quinn strip up to 1,900 managers and supervisors of their collective bargaining rights.

"It means that they have a huge reduction in their rights. It means their employment will be at will, that they can be gotten rid of for any reason whatsoever. It means that they won't have the security of having a contract."

"I hate to see anybody lose union representation, that's for sure. I think it's something we're going to have to watch and certainly, anyone like me who's been in a union and is respectful of what they've done, it bothers you."

Mike Bell says it's really not fair. He thinks everyone deserves to be in a union.

"I feel bad for anyone who doesn't have that opportunity because that's what it is, an opportunity to have your rights respected and to have the rights you so rightly deserve."

Picking who loses their rights won't be easy. They'll have to meet certain criteria and then be approved by a labor board.

It's a process many wish they didn't have to go through. Quinn's office says the new law will create a better balance of management and union employees.

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