Will County Democratic Central Committee - News

Published on Saturday, February 14, 2015

A War on Workers in Illinois

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.

Union opponents have long sought to outlaw fair-share fees, because the fees help to ensure that unions can afford to effectively represent all workers in unionized workplaces. The opponents’ cause received a boost in 2012, when Justice Samuel Alito Jr. publicly signaled his desire to overturn the 1977 ruling. Since then, numerous cases — and Governor Rauner’s executive order — have alleged that the fees are unconstitutional. The aim of opponents is not to win in the lower courts but to keep appealing until one of the cases gives the Supreme Court’s conservative bloc an opportunity to revise the law.

Allowing nonmembers to get union benefits without paying fair-share fees would tempt dues-paying members to drop out. Union coffers — and bargaining power — would be weakened. Ultimately, all working people would suffer, because collectively bargained pay increases in unionized workplaces tend to lift wages in nonunionized ones, as companies compete for employees. Anti-unionism, which has become increasingly entrenched in recent decades, correlates with stagnating and declining wages. As unions have been harmed, not only by market forces but by policies that deliberately weaken them, income has flowed increasingly to those at the top of the economic ladder rather than to workers.

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Author: Editor

Categories: State Issues, National Issues

Tags: Bruce Rauner

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