When Illinois Givernor Beuce Rauner first proposed a limit on unions’ ability to collect dues from non-members, the Néw York Times published this editorial explaining why Rauner is wrong. Non-members enjoy the wages and benefits negotiated by unions. The Times called it a “war on workers.”

“At issue are so called “fair share” fees. In a unionized workplace, a union must extend collectively bargained pay raises and other benefits to nonmembers. The nonmembers — about 15 percent of unionized state employees in Illinois — do not have to pay union dues or contribute to the union’s political activities. Instead, under the law in Illinois and in many other states, they must pay the union a fair-share fee, which is less than full dues, to cover the cost of collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf.”

Diminishing the power of unions hurts all working people.

“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.”

Crushing unions is good for the 1%. But not for workers who need a route into the middle class