Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. That settlement had been rejected by some of the 12 unions involved, creating the possibility of a strike beginning Dec. 9.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, Nov. 29, 2022, about their meeting with President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The measure passed by a vote of 290-137 and now heads to the Senate. If approved there, it will be signed by President Joe Biden, who urged the Senate to act swiftly.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

In an interview, Sen. Tammy Duckworth spoke on a number of legislative issues that U.S. lawmakers are taking up during the lame-duck session before a new Congress is sworn in early next year.

President Joe Biden, center, meets with congressional leaders at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Nov. 29. (Yuri Gripas / Abaca / Bloomberg via Getty Images, CNN)

A railroad strike could clog supply chains and lead to a spike in prices on necessities such as gasoline and food — dampening an economy that many fear is heading toward a recession. 

(WTTW News)

The stand-off between railroad companies and a dozen unions representing workers from conductors to locomotive engineers is for the second time heading toward a possible strike.

An Amtrak passenger train departs Chicago in the early evening headed south on Sept. 14, 2022, in Chicago. American consumers and nearly every industry will be affected if freight trains grind to a halt in December. Roughly half of all commuter rail systems rely at least in part on tracks that are owned by freight railroads, and nearly all of Amtrak’s long-distance trains run over the freight network. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

One of the biggest rail unions rejected its deal Monday, joining three others that have failed to approve contracts over concerns about demanding schedules and the lack of paid sick time. That raises the risk of a strike, which could start as soon as Dec. 5.

This April 2, 2021, file photo shows freight train cars and containers at Norfolk Southern Railroad's Conway Yard in Conway, Pa. Railroad engineers accepted their deal with the railroads that will deliver 24% raises but conductors rejected the contract casting more doubt on whether the industry will be able to resolve the labor dispute before next month’s deadline without Congress’ help. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

A split vote Monday from the two biggest railroad unions follows the rejection by three other unions of their deals with the railroads that the Biden administration helped broker before the original strike deadline in September.

(WTTW News)

Illinois’ constitution will be amended to explicitly protect unions, according to backers of the change who’ve been closely watching as mail-in ballots get added to totals from last Tuesday’s election. Outside entities and leading critics of the question say it’s too early for unions to claim victory.

Gold Standard worker Barry Rose says the company discriminated against Black workers. (WTTW News)

A staffing agency and the bakery’s then-owner are set to pay more than $1 million to settle the case. Worker advocates say the suit points to widespread problems faced by temp workers, and the possible legislative solutions.

(WTTW News)

If passed, the impact of the so-called “Workers Rights Amendment” would be twofold: The change would codify Illinois workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively, while simultaneously prohibiting any law from being passed that would interfere with those rights.

(WTTW News)

The so-called “Workers’ Rights Amendment” aims to codify in the state constitution the right to form a union and collectively bargain over a host of issues. It would effectively prohibit any future anti-union legislation, like right-to-work laws.

(WTTW News)

The unionization announcement comes one day after Lakeview Starbucks employees voted 11-to-1 in favor of representation, according to voting results shared by organizers. On Monday, Glenview Starbucks workers announced they plan to organize as well.

Pro-union protesters march around the the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison, Wis., March 26, 2011. With U.S. union ranks swelling as everyone from coffee shop baristas to warehouse workers seeks to organize, Illinois voters will decide in November 2022 whether to amend their state constitution to guarantee the right to bargain collectively. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

With U.S. union ranks swelling as everyone from coffee shop baristas to warehouse workers seeks to organize, Illinois voters will decide next month whether to amend their state constitution to guarantee the right to bargain collectively.

The Starbucks at Bryn Mawr and Winthrop avenues in Chicago is pictured on Oct. 13, 2022. (WTTW News)

Starbucks is shutting down one of the first Chicago locations where workers unionized – just days before the company was set to begin negotiations on a contract.

Amazon workers walk out of a Joliet facility on Oct. 11, 2022. (Credit: Warehouse Workers for Justice)

Employees at Amazon’s MDW2 warehouse in Joliet walked off the job Tuesday afternoon, saying the company has not provided a safe work environment or adequate pay.

(WTTW News)

Among the choices voters will have to make on Nov. 8 is whether to add a new amendment to the Illinois constitution that would give workers the “fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively” while at the same time forbidding any law that interferes with that ability.