They weren’t mostly the highest-profile things on the ballot on Tuesday, but this year’s elections did include a number of ballot measures relevant to workers. The outcomes were a mixed bag.
In Illinois, a workers' rights amendment looks likely to pass. That measure would affirm the right to organize and ban any law that “interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively.” Like, say, so-called right to work laws. On the flip side of that, Tennessee, which has long had such an anti-union law, voted to put it in the state constitution. But back to good news, in Michigan, Democrats won the state legislature and are reportedly planning to repeal the free rider law its Republican legislature passed in 2012.
Nebraska raised its minimum wage, which will reach $15 by 2026. Nevada raised its minimum wage to $12, eliminating a tiered system in which employers that offered “qualifying” health plans could pay $1 less per hour—a system that wasn’t working out for workers, because often that $1 an hour was being taken off the minimum wage for health plans that were still unaffordable. Washington, D.C., voters raised the tipped minimum wage to the full minimum wage. But Portland, Maine, voters rejected a measure that would have raised the minimum wage to $18 and eliminated the tipped minimum wage.
San Diego voters repealed a ban on project labor agreements, a remnant of the city’s more conservative past.
Please chime in with anything I’m missing.
● They waged the largest private-sector nurses' strike in U.S. history. They're still waiting for justice, Sarah Lazare reports.
● As of Thursday:
● Starbucks Workers United, by the way, won its 260th victory on Election Day, at an Arlington, Virginia, store.
Holy crap, what an amazing night! Where do we even begin this week's episode of The Downballot? Well, we know exactly where: abortion. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap Tuesday's extraordinary results, starting with a clear-eyed examination of the issue that animated Democrats as never before—and that pundits got so badly wrong. They also discuss candidate quality (still really important!), Democratic meddling in GOP primaries (good for democracy, actually), and "soft" Biden disapprovers (lots of them voted for Democrats).