Illinois Lawsuit Against Forced Union Fees Leaves Rauner Behind
Despite an Illinois judge dismissing a lawsuit by Gov. Bruce Rauner against mandatory union fees, a separate lawsuit brought by three state workers will take its place.
“In the interest of judicial economy, the court grants leave for the Employees to file their complaint in intervention and treats it as the operative pleading, while simultaneously dismissing the Governor’s original complaint,” Judge Robert Gettleman said in his decision, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The decision makes clear the lawsuit brought by Rauner must be dismissed because he has no standing, meaning he is not harmed or influenced by mandatory dues. The three employees who filed their own lawsuit against mandatory union dues do have standing. To save time and unnecessary expenses the court is allowing the employees to replace Rauner in the original lawsuit rather than proceed with their own.
“We’re gratified that the court has rejected Gov. Rauner’s latest ploy to weaken the unions that represent police officers, child protection workers, nurses and all who serve our state,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan told the Chicago Tribune. “This should be a strong signal to the governor that it’s time he treats public service workers with respect.”
The three state employees are being assisted by the Liberty Justice Center and National Right to Work Foundation.
In many states, workers who decide not to be in a union still have to pay a fee. The fee, known as fair share dues, is meant to only cover the cost of representation as opposed to political contributions or other financial transactions taken by unions.
The case began in February when, after only a month of being in office, Rauner went after fair share dues in two ways. He ordered state agencies to stop collecting them through an executive order while also filing a federal lawsuit to end the state law that requires them. The three state employees filed their lawsuit in March.
Now that the lawsuit is allowed to go forward, even without Rauner, it could result in a significant blow to organize labor depending on the eventual outcome. As The Illinois Policy Institute noted to TheDCNF, Rauner hopes the case will go beyond Illinois and make it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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