A War on Workers in Illinois – NYTimes.com

14 Feb

As one of his first official acts, the new Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, issued an executive order this week that would weaken state unions by barring them from assessing fees on some of the workers they represent in collective bargaining. Worse, the damage from the order could reach far beyond Illinois.

At issue are so called “fair share” fees. In a unionized workplace, a union must extend collectively bargained pay raises and other benefits to nonmembers. The nonmembers — about 15 percent of unionized state employees in Illinois — do not have to pay union dues or contribute to the union’s political activities. Instead, under the law in Illinois and in many other states, they must pay the union a fair-share fee, which is less than full dues, to cover the cost of collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf.

In a landmark case from 1977, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the fees. Governor Rauner ignores all that and asserts in the order that the fees are unconstitutional; he says they compel nonmembers to support political speech by the union. Clearly, the order goes against settled law. And that is its point: to challenge the law in order to remake it in an anti-union image. More…

via A War on Workers in Illinois – NYTimes.com.

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