Illinois Judge Strikes Down a Right-to-Work Ordinance

Labor News

Reprinted from The San Francisco Chronicle by The Associated Press on January 11, 2017.

A federal judge has struck down a right-to-work law in Lincolnshire aimed at organized labor, ruling that federal law pre-empts the local ordinance.

Judge Matthew Kennelly wrote in his ruling that only states have the power to enact laws that prohibit union security agreements, the Pioneer Press ( ) reported.

So-called right-to-work legislation allows people to work for a company in union-protected positions without having to join the union or pay the complete share of union dues.

In 2015, Lincolnshire approved its ordinance, which doesn’t apply to public-sector jobs like firefighting or police service.

In his summary judgment in the case, the judge sided with the four unions, International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 150 and 399, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and the Laborers District Council of Chicago and Vicinity, which filed the federal lawsuit in early 2016 challenging Lincolnshire’s ordinance. …

SF Chronicle 1/11

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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