August 24, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Elgin, IL – An Illinois appellate court has upheld Lake County court employees’ right to form a union, rejecting claims that workers were intimidated and coerced into joining. The Second District of the State Appellate Board Aug.
15 affirmed rulings by an administrative law judge and the state Labor Board that the workers could be represented by American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31. Lake County Circuit Clerk Keith Brin, who has refused to recognize or bargain a contract with Council 31, claimed that the union had intimidated workers into joining. The court found no such coercion. "When the employees chose to join AFSCME, it was because of the working conditions under Keith Brin,” AFSCME staff representative Colin Theis said. The union said that if there was any intimidation, it came from Brin and chief deputy clerk Jeanne Polydoris, who fired one union supporter and banned workers from handing out union flyers before their shifts. Polydoris said she couldn’t say whether the office would appeal the ruling or agree to start contract talks. Lake County, which contains Chicago’s northern suburbs, is the third most populous in Illinois. Read more