LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (AP) — A federal appeals court could soon rule on a so-called right-to-work ordinance in a northern suburb of Chicago.
Lincolnshire’s 2015 ordinance 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, the Chicago Tribune reported . The ordinance doesn’t apply to public-sector jobs, such as firefighting or police services.
Four labor unions filed a lawsuit in 2016 that sought to remove the ordinance. The International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 150 and 399, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and the Laborers District Council of Chicago and Vicinity said differing work rules in different municipalities would be chaotic.
“Lincolnshire’s ordinance undermines Congress’ intent to create a single uniform body of laws that govern labor management relations,” said Terrance McGann, an attorney representing the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters.
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Judge Matthew Kennelly struck down the ordinance last year, ruling that federal law pre-empts the local ordinance. Kennelly ruled that the municipality lacked the authority to enact its law because the National Labor Relations Act exemption for states and territories didn’t apply to Lincolnshire.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the groups’ arguments last month. The court may hand down a decision in the next six months or year, according to Jacob Huebert, an attorney with Liberty Justice Center who represents Lincolnshire.
Villages with home rule authority should be able to enact such ordinances, he said. Home rule is a region’s ability to be governed by its own citizens.
“Lincolnshire believes this ordinance will attract new businesses and create jobs,” Huebert said.
Lincolnshire Mayor Elizabeth Brandt did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com