Three Illinois state employees on Monday sought to join Gov. Bruce Rauner's lawsuit against labor unions, a legal maneuver aimed at trying to end mandatory union dues for nonmembers across the U.S., not just in Illinois.Taking away money from a union is like ending the watering of house plants. Both die.
All three workers' jobs are covered by collective bargaining agreements, but the employees opted not to join their union. They say the requirement they pay so-called "fair share" dues, which range from about $19 to $60 per month, violates their First Amendment right of free speech because they disagree with union policies.
"The First Amendment guarantees everyone the right to choose whose speech they support and what groups they associate with," said Jacob Huebert, an attorney for the employees. "State workers shouldn't have to sacrifice that right just to keep their jobs."
Rauner issued an executive order last month ending the dues, which nonmembers are required to pay to cover the cost of non-political union activities that benefit all employees, such as collective bargaining. The order effectively keeps about $3.75 million each year from the unions' bank accounts.