OPINION: Our families deserve the protections of Amendment 1, the Workers’ Rights Amendment

CEO American Income Life
National Income Life Insurance Cos.

As the CEO of American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies, I make decisions impacting not only our organization but our customers, our independent contractors, our employees and the communities in which we work. Our success is not just the bottom line, but is our overall impact. I am compelled to stand up in support of the proposed Constitutional Amendment placing collective bargaining rights in the Illinois constitution. Why? Because I believe it’s the best way to build a strong economic future for all families across Illinois.

Since April 2020, by working together with unions our company has collective bargaining agreements with, we were able to successfully pivot from our business model of speaking with clients in their homes at their kitchen table about the importance of protecting their families, to a nearly full virtual model. We value our partnership with these unions and are grateful for their willingness to step up and make this transition come together.

Business 101: ensure you have strong contract language for purchases or when you provide services. Your workforce, whether as independent contractors or employees, needs to receive at least the same level of respect you would have for your office supplier or lawn maintenance service, right?

The proposed constitutional amendment will create a level field not only for workers but for businesses as well. It is better for the economics all across Illinois. It’s no secret union workers earn 10.2% higher wages than their non-union peers, have better benefits and collectively raise wages industry-wide. All of this translates into a stronger local economy because when families have more money the local supermarket, gas station, dry cleaner, etc. have more customers.

As a voice in the American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN), representing 250,000 organizations, associations and businesses, our focus is on public policies which support building strong communities where families can really thrive. From increases in the minimum wage to healthcare protections to the right to bargain collectively, ASBN is an important voice and we are proud to be part of their mission.

Our families deserve the protections Constitutional Amendment 1 will provide. We encourage the voters of Illinois to vote YES.

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