By CARL GREEN
Chicago, IL – Efforts to weaken public employee unions took another turn recently when nine Illinois state workers sued AFSCME Council 31 for the return of fair share fees they paid before the Supreme Court decision in the Janus vs. AFSCME case last year.
The lawsuit claims up to 2,700 workers are entitled to the return of fees paid between May 1, 2017 and June 28, 2018, the date of the Supreme Court ruling that unions could not require payment of the fees. The earlier date was the furthest back they could go under the statute of limitations.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys, aligned with the anti-union Liberty Justice Center and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, claim they are seeking close to $2 million from the union.
A similar claim was thrown out earlier this year by a U.S. District Court judge, but Liberty attorneys now say they want to appeal it to the Supreme Court.
The suit claims former Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015 ordered that the fees be placed in escrow because the law allowing them was “likely unconstitutional.”
The suit was reported by Capitol Fax along with a reader response saying the claims for the back fees are bogus. “They are not entitled to them because fair share fees were the law at the time,” the reader said. “These people are takers – the very type of people anti-union people despite.”
Another reader replied, “Just look at the crowd at rallies on this stuff. The anti-right-to-work crowd is thousands of teachers, public safety workers, construction workers, etc.
“The crowd supporting these things are a couple of lawyers and policy institute guys who are indirectly being paid by billionaires. And they’re standing behind whatever poor sap they were able to con into signing on to the lawsuit.”