Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law restricting union membership among state employees.
The law aims to bar employees from joining collective bargaining units and could force nearly 2,000 to give up recently granted membership.
Quinn and fellow Democrats in the Legislature adopted the plan after the ranks of state employees covered by union contracts grew to 97 percent.
Supporters argue Illinois has too few managers loyal to the governor.
The state's largest union — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — says the law allows Quinn to deny union membership to nearly 3,600 employees. Those include about 1,900 who have joined unions since 2008.
The Democrat signed the bill Friday while on a trade mission to Mexico.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)