March 16, 2023

Chicago City Council passes labor peace ordinance

The Chicago City Council passed the AFSCME-sponsored Human Service Workforce Advancement (HSWA) ordinance by a veto-proof majority of 42-2 on March 15.

The ordinance, also known as a labor peace agreement, requires human service agencies that receive city funding and have more than 20 employees to agree not to retaliate against their employees who are seeking to unionize. In exchange, workers agree not to disrupt operations by picketing or taking part in other job actions.

Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch hailed the passage of the ordinance.

"We believe that every worker has a right to a voice on the job. But too often, human service workers have been denied that right due to employer interference. This ordinance says that if an agency receives funding from the city of Chicago and its employees want to form a union, their rights will be respected and protected," Lynch said in a statement to the press.

“We urge the mayor not to delay the adoption of this important ordinance with a needless veto,” Lynch’s statement continued. “This is a matter of justice and equity for workers—most of them women, many of them Black and brown—when they choose to come together and make things better for themselves and the people they serve."

Click here to watch a video where workers who were fired for unionizing explain why the ordinance was so important.

Related News