|Formation||September 29, 1893|
|Headquarters||Oak Brook, Illinois|
President & CEO
|Illinois Manufacturers' Protective Association|
The Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) is a trade association for manufacturing companies in Illinois. It bills itself as "the oldest and largest statewide manufacturing trade association in the United States." Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, and founded in 1893 by businessmen opposed to legislation limiting the working hours of women, IMA has more than 4000 member companies. The association lobbies on behalf of Illinois manufacturing interests and has its own political action committee and polling organization. IMA's President and CEO is Mark Denzler. The IMA publishes a quarterly magazine, The Illinois Manufacturer.
On September 29, 1893, Illinois manufacturers met at the Grand Pacific Hotel to organize in opposition to the Sweatshop Law of 1893 that prohibited child labor and mandated an eight-hour workday. The manufacturers formed the Illinois Manufacturers' Protective Association "for the purpose of co-operating to test the constitutionality of a recent act of the Legislature of this State limiting the hours of Female Labor." Governor Peter Altgeld had made Florence Kelley the Chief Factory Inspector for the state of Illinois. The Manufacturers' Protective Association sponsored a number of cases which led to the Illinois Supreme Court finding that Section 5 of the Act, which limited women's working weeks to 48 hours and their day to eight hours, unconstitutional in 1895. After Governor Altgeld was not re-elected in 1896 and Kelley was removed from her position, flagrant violations of the child labor provision were reported.
During the Coal Strike of 1919, the Illinois Manufacturers' Association announced a boycott against the striking coal miners, holding up orders of food, clothing and fuel for mining communities. Earlier that year, the IMA had asked the House Interstate Commerce Committee to outlaw railroad strikes or lockouts.
The Illinois Manufacturers' Association attempted to keep the Chicago labor radio station WCFL off the air in 1926 by protesting the use of Navy Pier as the station's transmitter and broadcasting site.
IMA commissioned a study by Fantus in 1975 that addressed state-by-state business climate in the United States. The study was criticized for its heavy emphasis on unions and taxes in its formulations. The IMA considered a merger with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in 2000.
In 2010, Janice Christiansen became the first woman to become chair of the IMA Board of Directors. That year, IMA President Greg Baise was required to testify at a Bloomington trial regarding an alleged corporate conspiracy to conceal the hazards of asbestos.
In 2012, the IMA spoke out in favor of Illinois' enterprise zones and was a vocal member of the STOP Coalition, which opposed the construction of a coal power plant with pollution mitigation in Taylorville by Tenaska Energy. The association also supported plastic bag recycling.
According to the IMA website, the association has influenced legislation resulting in corporate tax and sales tax breaks for its members of $300 million annually.
The association reviews bills introduced to the Illinois General Assembly and maintains a Legislative Watch List where it indicates its support or opposition to individual bills. In 2012, the IMA opposed bills that would require health insurance to cover pre-existing conditions, tie the minimum wage to the consumer price index, and provide coverage for maternity care and sick leave. The IMA also supported bills that would release employers from the obligation to pay workers compensation to employees that were discharged for cause, create an Illinois Health Benefits Exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and amend the Employee Classification Act so that the term "employment" does not apply to truck drivers. In 2010, the IMA advocated tax exemptions for manufacturers.
The Illinois Manufacturers' Association owns the for-profit subsidiary Xpress Professional Services, which conducts opinion polls through its polling organization, We Ask America. The firm conducts automated polls and has been described as conservative leaning and has received criticism for its methodology.
Fantus Illinois Manufacturers Association.