Workers rights on the ballot nationwide

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By COLIN STAUB

Next week, voters in 37 states will consider 132 ballot measures. Those include a handful of labor-related items.

Tennessee: RIGHT TO WORK Constitutional Amendment 1 would enshrine right-to-work in the state’s constitution. (Right-to-work—better described as “right to work under union protection without paying union dues”—is a state law that bans any union contract that requires represented workers to pay dues.) Tennessee has already had a right-to-work law on the books since 1947. This would make it harder to remove the law in the future.

Illinois: RIGHT TO ORGANIZE Amendment 1 takes the opposite approach as Tennessee’s measure: It amends the constitution to establish a “fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively” and prohibits any law that diminishes that right. Essentially, it prevents future passage of right-to-work laws.

Nebraska: RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE  Initiative 433 increases the state’s minimum wage incrementally to $15 by 2026. It’s been at $9 per hour since 2016. 

Nevada: RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE Question 2 increases the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour for all workers by 2024, ending the current two-tiered minimum wage for workers with and without health benefits. Nevada is the only state that has different minimum wages based on health benefits.

Washington, DC: END TIP CREDIT Initiative 82 raises the minimum wage for workers who receive tips to match the wage for non-tipped workers. Currently, the minimum wage for tipped workers is $5.05 per hour. The initiative would raise it incrementally to the non-tipped minimum wage, which is currently $15.20, by 2027.

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