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Rauner Continues to Fight Fair Share Fees

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 24, 2015 8:00PM

Unions won the first round in what promises to be an ongoing fight with Governor Bruce Rauner over “fair share” fees, which non-union members pay that cover collective bargaining they benefit from. Earlier this month, unions sued over Rauner’s executive order freezing the fees and Rauner attempted to have the issue moved to a federal court. The Chicago Tribune reports a federal judge ruled that the matter should be handled in a state court.

Rauner argues that the fees violate free speech, but unions say the governor is attempting to weaken their collective bargaining power.

Meanwhile, Rauner has a second suit filed in Chicago, which three state employees filed a motion to join on Monday claiming that they “are suffering the irreparable harm and injury inherent in a violation of First Amendment rights for which there is no adequate remedy at law” over fair share fees. The Sun-Times reports the three employees pay dues to the targets of the suit, the AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and Teamsters Local 916.

According to the Northwest Herald, the workers’ jobs are covered by collective bargaining agreements, but they opted not to join the union, resulting in paying dues which range from $19 to $60 a month. “Anyone who doesn’t want a union to speak for them should not be forced to pay for union speech,” said Jacob Huebert, a senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, an arm of the Illinois Policy Institute.

In a statement, AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said:

“It’s no surprise that corporate-funded, anti-worker organizations are supporting Gov. Rauner’s illegal executive order. The Right To Work Foundation and Illinois Policy Institute are corporate shell groups looking to further erode middle class economic security to boost the objectives of their benefactors We will protect the integrity of the law, our collective bargaining agreements and the rights of all workers from these politically motivated attacks.”