Gov. Bruce Rauner stepped up his campaign against government employee unions by eliminating so-called “fair share” dues paid by workers who don’t join a union.Never mind the fact that workers always had the federally protected right to opt out of union membership. Never mind the fact that any political contributions come from money voluntarily paid from the workers above and beyond their dues.
The Republican said Monday he has signed an executive order erasing what he says is a “critical cog in the corrupt bargain crushing taxpayers.” He says forcing non-union employees to pay union dues requires them to fund political activity they don’t agree with.
He says he took action after a U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year that found the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act violated the First Amendment by mandating involuntary union dues.
Rauner has called for ending political contributions by unions.
Rauner’s executive order has no effect on those who wish to remain in unions.
This is nothing but pure union busting so that Rauner and his country club chums can further profiteer off of the taxpayers.
The unions have responded sharply. From AFSCME Council 31:
“Child protection workers, caregivers for veterans and the disabled, correctional officers and everyone else employed by state government has a right to a voice at work and in the democratic process through their union.I hope that the union members in Illinois have their marching boots at hand. A strong and direct action is the only thing that fools like Rauner - and Walker - understand.
“Bruce Rauner’s scheme to strip the rights of state workers and weaken their unions by executive order is a blatantly illegal abuse of power.
“Perhaps as a private equity CEO Rauner was accustomed to ignoring legal and ethical standards, but Illinois is still a democracy and its laws have meaning.
“It is crystal clear by this action that the governor’s supposed concern for balancing the state budget is a paper-thin excuse that can’t hide his real agenda: Silencing working people and their unions who stand up for the middle class.
“Our union and all organized labor will stand together with those who believe in democracy to overturn Bruce Rauner’s illegal action and restore the integrity of the rule of law.”