JB’s Priorities to Raise Wages in Illinois

Just as the labor movement helped create the middle class in our country in the last century, it will be key to rebuilding the middle class in Illinois today. Under Bruce Rauner, working families and workers’ rights have been under attack. JB will stand up for workers’ rights and work hand-in-hand with the labor movement to fight against harmful legislation that lowers wages. He will also stand up to Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine federal labor protections.

Protect Collective Bargaining Rights

JB believes unions are key to building a strong middle class.

Governor Rauner’s extreme agenda is a direct attack on Illinois’ working families. Governor Rauner favors right to work legislation, which would destroy unions in this state, and has proposed legislation that would significantly limit collective bargaining by preventing workers from bargaining over central tenets of employment—wages and healthcare.

JB knows workers are the heart of every organization and must be treated with respect. JB will fight to protect collective bargaining rights because he believes unions are key to building a strong middle class. JB will protect fair share agreements and will be a good faith partner for labor unions and workers.


Support a Living Wage

JB believes that the minimum wage needs to be increased.

 Governor Rauner is holding the minimum wage hostage to his extreme agenda. Governor Rauner pays lip service to a minimum wage increase, but does not support a living wage for Illinois’ working families.

JB supports raising the minimum wage to $15. JB understands that respect for workers means paying them a living wage. A person making Illinois’ current minimum wage of $8.25 an hour earns just $17,160 annually to work full time. Raising the minimum wage will help reverse the growing wage gap.


Fight For Equal Pay

JB knows that women deserve to earn equal pay for equal work.

JB will fight to strengthen Illinois’s Equal Pay Act. Women not only deserve equal pay, but they also deserve to know when they’re being paid less than their male counterparts. Equal pay laws should include harsher penalties for companies that are not in compliance. JB will also fight to make sure progress toward equal pay isn’t rolled back on the federal level.


Enforce Laws Protecting Workers from Misclassification and Wage Theft

JB knows businesses need to pay workers the wages and benefits they rightfully deserve under law.

 Governor Rauner wants to help business at the expense of workers. Governor Rauner’s extreme “turnaround agenda” fails to acknowledge the enforcement and investigative work that must be done to protect workers.

JB understands that worker misclassification and wage theft hurt workers and business. JB supports full enforcement of the 2010 Illinois Wage Theft Enforcement Act, which strengthens worker protections, and improving accountability measures for employers that improperly pay their employees. JB will appoint a Director of the Department of Labor who will relentlessly enforce all laws and direct the Joint Misclassification Enforcement Task Force to actively investigate and penalize employers who are in violation of the law.


Fight for an Enforceable Prevailing Wage

JB believes that government should not act to drive down wages.

Governor Rauner wants to repeal the Illinois Prevailing Wage law. Under Governor Rauner’s administration, the Illinois Department of Labor hasn’t updated wage rates depriving workers of what’s owed to them.

JB will fight to protect prevailing wage law in Illinois. JB supports a law that would formalize wage determinations, just as the federal prevailing wage law does. Studies show that prevailing wage laws do not drive up construction costs. Instead, they elevate worker skills in the construction industry, promote better workplace safety, and increase government revenues.


Strengthen Project Labor Agreements

JB believes that the State should be a responsible partner in public works construction projects. 

Governor Rauner wants to repeal the Illinois Project Labor Agreements Act. Governor Rauner would prohibit the use of project labor agreements on state-funded projects, except where required by federal law.

JB believes that Project Labor Agreements help ensure a skilled and experienced workforce and foster greater employment opportunities for women and people of color in the construction industry. JB will promote diversity in union apprenticeship programs and will sign an executive order to advocate the use of PLAs by all State agencies.

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