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First responders seeking freedom from unions in Illinois and elsewhere

Paramedics and EMTs at the Galesburg Hospitals Ambulance Service are petitioning the National Labor Relations Board to request a union decertification vote.

Published: February 5, 2022 2:35pm

Updated: February 5, 2022 10:39pm

(The Center Square) -

Another group of workers in Illinois is trying to distance themselves from a union.

Paramedics and EMTs at the Galesburg Hospitals Ambulance Service are seeking to exercise their right to vote Teamsters Local 627 out of power at the workplace, a growing trend around the country.

The group has submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board requesting a decertification vote.

"A lot of workers across the country are starting to exercise these decertification rights, and according to the National Labor Relations Board, last year unions only won about 20% of these elections," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, which is offering free legal aid.

Elsewhere in Illinois, foundation attorneys are aiding Nick Salzmann and his fellow Village of Carpentersville part-time firefighters in attempting to decertify the Service Employees International Union affiliate in their workplace. The workers are battling "blocking charges" filed by SEIU bosses against village officials to delay the firefighters decertification election.

"Pretty standard operating procedure for the unions to try to block the election, and the longer they can block it, the longer they can collect forced dues," said Mix. "If they can make the thing go on for two more years, they get two more years of dues revenue from these people."

In the past year, Rush University maintenance workers in Chicago, Frito-Lay salesmen in Del Rio, Texas, and Allied Central Coast truckers in Santa Maria, California, voted to decertify Teamsters local unions.

Illinois is not a right to work state. Under the protection of right to work laws, which are on the books in 27 states, private sector employees have the freedom to choose to become union members or not.

“The paramedics and EMT’s, who provide lifesaving first aid to the citizens of Galesburg, should not have to be subjects of Teamsters union bosses whose so-called ‘representation’ they oppose,” Mix said.

Forced union dues for public sector employees are prohibited following the landmark Janus v. AFSCME case from Illinois the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2018.

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