Quality Job Growth
Politicians are constantly talking about “job growth,” but this means little to workers who have to work multiple part-time jobs with few or no benefits. Illinois workers face an economic crisis in which many work multiple jobs and are still unable to make ends meet. When we talk about “job growth” we must also talk about the quality of the positions that employers bring to an area. We need jobs in which workers are treated and compensated fairly.
The Illinois minimum wage has been stuck at $8.25 since 2010. The recent minimum wage increase to $15 by 2025 is a welcomed relief to the underpaid workers of Illinois. Workers spend money in the communities they live and work in. With the recent gradual increase of the minimum wage, we will see more money flowing back into our communities. Representative Meier voted against gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. (SB 1)
Although the recent minimum wage bill is a welcomed change from having $8.25 for a decade, we must strive to make and maintain our minimum as a living wage. By 2025, it is doubtful that $15.00 could be considered a living wage and we must try to do more. Employers are currently allowed to pay new employees (first 90 days) and workers under 18 a lower minimum wage than the norm. This practice should be abolished, new employees and young workers deserve equal pay.
Equal work deserves equal pay. Illinois women make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. The wage gap does not exist because of the choices of working women, it exists regardless of industry or education level and within occupations. This wage gap robs women.
Representative Meier recently voted against HB 834, which will help to close the wage gap by prohibiting employers from using wage history to screen job applicants. Rep. Meier also voted against ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (SJRCA 4).
I support policies that will work towards closing the wage gap, including:
Protections against discriminatory pay and employment practices
Challenging gender-based occupational segregation
Increasing the minimum wage
Paid family and medical leave and paid sick days
Affordable child care
Access to comprehensive reproductive health care
As your State Representative, I would work to protect against employment discrimination, wrongful termination, wage theft, safety violations, and all other crimes that threaten the rights, safety, and financial well-being of workers. Representative Meier voted against increasing penalties for employers who commit wage theft. (HB 1653)
My father was a union boilermaker with Local 363, I’ve seen what unions can do for working families. I strongly believe in the rights of workers to organize into unions and collectively bargain. Unions bring democracy into the workplace to empower workers. There is no replacement for the protections and security that unions bring to working families. Representative Meier is no friend of labor. The Illinois AFL-CIO gave my opponent a 26% lifetime rating for his voting record through 2017.