Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category
I wrote this post to highlight Democratic senators’ biggest problem is Harry Reid, not President Obama. When I found out this morning that the RNC is starting a #FireReid campaign on social media, I got excited. This indicates that they’re aware that Sen.Reid is toxic. This article gives us some details into the RNC’s campaign:
A banner unfurled outside of the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington is providing an unsubtle hint about the GOP’s goals for this fall. In bold letters it reads, “Stop Obama” and “Fire Reid.”
In another sign that Republicans are trying to nationalize competitive Senate races in a political environment unfavorable to Democrats, the RNC on Tuesday announced the start of its “#FireReid” campaign, aimed at winning control of the Senate and thus demoting Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Beginning this week, we will launch robocalls in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a memo about the initiative.
The robo-call script will assert that a vote for the Democratic candidate, in many cases an incumbent, amounts to providing a “rubber stamp” for President Obama and Reid’s “partisan agenda.”
Additionally, the anti-Reid campaign will include “research briefings, social media, videos, interviews, and infographics” highlighting the Nevada lawmaker’s position on such issues as the Keystone XL pipeline and the Affordable Care Act.
It isn’t that Harry Reid is nationally well-known…yet. It’s that he’s said a ton of offensive and/or dishonest things that the RNC will use to paint Reid as the tyrant he is. My suggestion is that they highlight Sen. Reid’s dishonesty, his hyperpartisanship and his fierce loyalty to President Obama’s agenda.
Further, I hope the RNC shows how often Democrat senators vote with Sen. Reid, then quantify the impact they’ve had on families. Rattling off a string of statistics won’t cut it. Personalizing things is required. If the RNC does that, then Democrats will have a difficult time defending their rubber stamping the Obama/Reid agenda.
According to the RNC announcement, the GOP will also seek to depict Reid as obedient “to billionaire SuperPAC donors like Tom Steyer [who] have hurt our country and the democratic process.”
That campaign might not have the same impact as the #FireReid campaign but it might be helpful in the sense that it’ll portray Democrats as listening more to the special interests than to rank-and-file unions that want the Keystone XL Pipeline built.
Last week, I wrote this post highlighting DFL Chairman Ken Martin’s PolyMet temper tantrum. Clearly, he didn’t want to talk about that thorny issue. This editorial highlights how ridiculous Chairman Martin’s arguments sounded:
State Sen. Karin Housley, who is the lieutenant governor candidate pick of Scott Honour who is seeking the Republican nomination in the Aug. 12 primary, said her failure to file was an honest mistake and she had nothing to hide. In fact, the filing she made after the deadline was the same as the last one she had done as required as a state senator.
So she was clearly wrong in not filing on time. And Martin did the political party partisan-thing that would have also been done by his Republican counterpart if the late filer had been, say, Gov. Mark Dayton.
But what’s really interesting and also quite telling about the release was not the usual DFL-GOP banter. It was the mention of PolyMet as an investment held by Housley — all $300 of an investment.
Yep, that was the lone investment of Housley singled out in Martin’s news release, based on her state Senate financial disclosure. No other investment or investments. Just one, PolyMet, the copper/nickel/precious metals project near Hoyt Lakes that is in a far-too long environmental review phase.
Aside from the tit-for-tat chatter that both parties feel obligated to spewing, the lesson from Chairman Martin’s tantrum is that PolyMet is a poisonous topic for him. The only time that issue isn’t a a negative for Martin is when he’s talking to the environmental activists in the DFL.
That’s a big problem for him because, though that part of his party is the dominant part of the party, environmenal activists are just a small portion of his party numerically. If he alienates the construction and trade unions by catering to the environmental activists too much, that’ll hurt his party this November.
But hey, let’s zero in a $300 investment in PolyMet by a running mate of one of four possible GOP gubernatorial candidates.
“…. this has nothing to do with PolyMet,” Martin said in a telephone interview with the Mesabi Daily News for last Sunday’s story. It’s all about a candidate’s transparency, he stressed.
That, of course, leap-frogged the question as to why PolyMet was targeted in the news release.
Martin said PolyMet “just popped out” from Housley,’s Senate financial statement to DFL Party researchers in advance of Martin’s news release on the issue. But, of course, no other investment of Housley “just popped out.”
I wonder if the researchers who scoured Sen. Housley’s financial statement are environmental activists. It’s certainly a legitimate question. Why would a $300 investment catch the researchers’ attention? Sen. Housley’s committee assignments aren’t related to PolyMet.
Chairman Martin doesn’t owe Sen. Housley an explanation. She should’ve filed the report on time. However, Chairman Martin owes mining activists an explanation why he’s singling out their industry in his statement. Will Chairman Martin show a spine for once? Will the DFL stand unconditionally with the miners? Will Chairman Martin finally tell the environmental activist wing of his party that, this time, he’s siding with Iron Range families?
If he won’t stand unconditionally with the miners, the miners should vote for the pro-mining party. This year, that’s the GOP. This year, that isn’t the DFL.
It’s impossible to serve 2 masters. That’s what Chairman Martin is attempting to do. The miners should demand more than token expressions of loyalty from the DFL. It’s difficult seeing that happen in the near future.
This op-ed, written by Paul Kersey of the Illinois Policy Institute, revisits the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Harris v. Quinn lawsuit. Here’s one of the key parts of Mr. Kersey’s op-ed:
Suburban Chicago mom Pamela Harris, whose youngest child has a rare genetic disorder, was one of the parents targeted for union membership. Because she would rather stay home full-time to care for her son than put him in a state facility or child care center, she qualified for a Medicaid benefit from the state worth about $25,000 per year. But the unions wanted a cut of this money.
Harris didn’t want to join the union, so she joined other families who already paid forced dues in a lawsuit challenging the scheme. In siding with Harris against the state of Illinois and SEIU last month, the high court addressed a point raised by the Illinois Policy Institute in an amicus brief: Paying dues to a union should not be a condition of receiving help from the state to care for a loved one.
I’d love hearing the SEIU or AFSCME explain how the person who a) cares for a person getting a government assistance check, b) is self-employed or c) is the parent of the person getting a government assistance check is a government worker.
Let’s follow this logically. According to SEIU’s thinking, a middle class person who takes care of their child isn’t a government employee but a person who cares for their child who gets an assistance check is a government employee.
Further, again according to SEIU’s thinking, small business owners who provide child care services aren’t government employees but child care providers who care for families that get government assistance are government employees.
That logic is tortured at best.
For instance, when a person works as a PR/communications person in a government department, there’s an organizational chart that shows where in the chain they rank and who they report to. How would an organizational chart look if a small business owner who is hired by a parent who gets government assistance is considered a government employee? Further, why would the small business owner be the government employee subject to paying union dues or a fair share fee but the person getting government assistance be a private citizen who isn’t subject to paying union dues or fair share fees?
This is the key point in Mr. Kersey’s op-ed:
Even if the SEIU wins its election, its new members won’t be forced to pay dues.
That’s the part that gives me the biggest smile. They’re expending all this effort knowing that a huge percentage of PCAs and in-home child care providers will say ‘no thanks’ to paying dues or fair share fees.
One of SEIU’s and AFSCME’s arguments is that they’ll provide training for these workers. As Hollee Saville told me, they already have access to tons of training. Most of these programs are either free or exceptionally inexpensive.
Surely, union operatives will attempt to characterize me as anti-union. Those operatives are wrong. I’m just opposed to unions telling private sector employers that they’re public sector employees.
The Democrats must think that they have to push their fake War on Women meme. This week, it’s TakeAction Minnesota’ Dan McGrath’s turn to push that dishonest meme:
The Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn rulings handed down by the Supreme Court’s conservative and male majority lay bare exactly what they value. And it’s not caring for each other. Nor is it a woman’s right to make her own decisions. Instead, these justices value ever-expanding corporate power at the expense of working people and believe that women, and the professions they lead, are worth less than others. In ruling as they did on two very disparate topics, these five men have launched an assault on women in the workplace. But it’s workers and their families who should be concerned.
In the Hobby Lobby ruling, the conservative majority took the absurd notion that corporations are people one step further. In its earlier Citizens’ United ruling, these justices granted corporations the right of free speech, and thus the ability to spend limitless amounts of money in elections. Now, these same justices have established corporate religious freedom, and the right to refuse women contraception. As the power of corporations expands, a woman’s ability to decide what is in her own best interest is diminished. That this ruling applies to “closely held” corporations means that as much as 52 percent of the American workforce may be affected.
First, I’d love hearing where the First Amendment only pertains to individuals. I still haven’t heard a Democrat point to the part of this text that says the First Amendment’s protections only pertain to individuals:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment talks about “the right of people peaceably to assemble.” Otherwise, there’s no hint on whether they thought the First Amendment should apply only to individuals.
What compelling case can Democrats make that the political speech of corporations is less legitimate than the political speech of individuals? Should LLCs with 3 owners be allowed to express their political beliefs but corporations with 50 stockholders be prohibited from expressing their political beliefs? If Democrats think that, why do they think that?
Hobby Lobby simply said that they’d offer insurance that covered 16 forms of contraceptives, not 20. Am I to think that women are incapable of making the right decision in that situation? Further, should I think that women working at Hobby Lobby can’t afford to pay for the other types of contraceptives? After all, they make twice the rate of minimum wage.
What right do women have to have their contraceptives paid for? If I received $10 for each time I’ve heard the left talk about reproductive rights are a woman’s private decision, I’d be wealthy and then some. If it’s that private, then women should bear some of that responsibility.
Finally, why should government tell people that they can’t practice their faith? The First Amendment certainly promises people that government can’t tell them how to practice their faith. That’s one of the biggest reasons why people left Europe.
In Harris v. Quinn the same five justices ruled that workers who provide care to children, the elderly and disabled are only partial government workers and, therefore, can opt out of paying union dues, even if they benefit from workplace protections obtained by a union. While public employee unions are already finding ways to adapt, this is a serious blow to their strength. But it’s an even bigger blow to care providers, 90 percent of whom in Minnesota are women, many of whom are women of color.
In Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court said that small business owners have the right to determine who represents them in petitioning the legislature. In fact, the National Labor Relations Act prohibits business owners from belonging to a union. The high court decided that small business owners aren’t public employees, at least in the sense that a PR person for a public agency is a public employee.
This is pure BS:
Homecare is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. But the wages these workers earn are paltry. The average wage of non-union caregivers is $9-11 per hour. In Illinois, whose homecare union was the subject of the court case, wages are $13 per hour. By limiting the power of these workers to bargain for better wages and set higher professional standards workers and those they serve lose out. While anyone who depends on a caregiver knows their work is priceless, these five justices are saying that work in the home is less valuable than other male dominated professions.
That’s a non sequitur argument. Child care provider establish their rates independent of government. If they want to negotiate a raise for themeselves, they negotiate with the parents who get the check. They don’t negotiate with the commissioner of Human Services.
If they think that government should spend more money on this assistance, then they petition for higher assistance rates. When they do that, they’re the ones who determine whether they should hire a lobbyist, a trade organization, join a union or just lobby the legislature themselves. That’s their decision alone.
The unions are dishonest in saying the Supreme Court is anti-women. That’s insulting. They aren’t anti-women. They’re just pro-Constitution. The dirty little secret is that unions don’t care about women. They see unionizing them as their best opportunity to gain more political clout.
Hollee Saville just published this information on her Facebook page:
With breakneck speed, the BMS has set the mail-ballot election for SEIU’s attempted unionization of home care providers to begin on Friday, August 1. DHS and SEIU are prohibited from the unfair labor and election practices for which SEIU is often known. If you are threatened, coerced, or harassed in any way, please contact the police and the BMS and please let us know so we can keep a record of it. Please share this information with EVERY PCA you know so that they know that they can vote NO to unionize.
We are trying to set up mailings and phone calls to inform PCAs. If you would like to help with this, please let Hollee know.
Here’s the important “fine print”:
Ballots will be mailed to each eligible employee at the home address supplied by the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services, together with a letter of explanation and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope.
Ballots will be mailed on Friday, August 1, 2014, and must be returned to the Bureau of Mediation Services, 1380 Energy Lane, Suite 2, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108-5253, in the envelopes furnished for that purpose in order to be counted.
Any eligible employee who has not received their ballot by Friday, August 8, 2014, must personally call the Bureau at (651) 649-5421 and request that a second ballot be mailed to them.
All ballots must be returned to the Bureau office no later than 4:30 pm on Monday, August 25, 2014.
To say that Hollee and others aren’t sitting still is understatement. To say that the DFL, SEIU and AFSCME don’t get it that this will hurt them this November is understatement. I published 4 articles written by child care providers who are Democrats who oppose SEIU’s and AFSCME’s unionization drive. See here, here, here and here.
After the Harris v. Quinn ruling, SEIU and AFSCME said that the ruling wouldn’t prevent them from continuing their organizing drive. This news is proof they meant what they said. The thing is that the Harris v. Quinn ruling didn’t say they couldn’t organize. The heart of that ruling said that PCAs and others who are quasi-government employees couldn’t be forced into paying dues or fair share fees.
This organizing drive is just reminding these small business owners that the DFL doesn’t listen to them, that the DFL only listens to the special interests write big checks for their campaigns. The so-called party of the people is really the party of, by and for the elitists and special interests.
This organizing drive is proof that the DFL will always give a higher priority to bigger campaign contributions than it puts on doing the right thing. That’s a sickening thought.
This afternoon, I was sent a copy of a letter that Jim Grabowska sent to MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone about MnSCU’s hiring of McKinsey and Co. as consultants. Grabowska is the president of the Inter Faculty Organization, aka the IFO. Here’s part of Grabowska’s letter:
You can well imagine our dismay this morning when we found out about the $2 million contract that existed with McKinsey to support Charting the Future. We are writing to ask what the firm actually did for the $2 million they collected from Minnesota taxpayers and students. What assessment/criteria lead to the conclusion that the System Office needed a consultant firm to assist staff on implementation? Of specific concern is why it was determined before our collective internal implementation teams were even formed, or allowed to make recommendations for an implementation plan.
What’s disappointing (infuriating?) is that the IFO president asked more probing questions in that paragraph than the St. Cloud Times reporters have asked of President Potter since he was hired years ago.
The IFO asked substantive questions that question Chancellor Rosenstone’s justification for hiring McKinsey in that paragraph in a respectful fashion. Here’s more from the IFO’s letter:
From the story in the Pioneer Press, it sounds like consultants were hired on January 2nd, began work in March and finished in June. What could they have done in three or four months that wasn’t noticed but was worth $2 million?
I suspected that this consulting contract wasn’t legitimate. The fact that the IFO is questioning what McKinsey did to earn the money highlights why they’re questioning Rosenstone’s decision. There’s nothing that I’ve seen that suggests McKinsey’s work product was worth $2,000,000.
In the article, you justify the expenditure by saying students and their families might save $14 million if 10% of the students graduate faster. The problem is there is no indication that the $2 million spent will result in $14 million of savings — or any savings at all.
In the past decade, MnSCU has spent money by the tens of millions on IT consultants that claimed they would create efficiencies that would result in efficiencies for students — student tuitions still continued to skyrocket. The only savings we have seen for students in recent years came from the legislative buy down of tuition rates.
As much as this letter is an indictment of Chancellor Rosenstone, it’s an indictment of MnSCU’s trustees and the chairs of the higher education committees the past few years. This has been a bipartisan failing, with Bud Nornes and Michelle Fischbach failing to conduct proper oversight before Gene Pelowski and Terry Bonoff failed in their oversight responsibilities.
It’s a frightening statement that the IFO’s oversight of MnSCU outdistances the oversight provided by the MnSCU Trustees and the higher ed committees in the legislature. Combined.
At this point, it’s reasonable to ask whether MnSCU serves as anything more than another do-nothing bureaucracy. Further, it’s reasonable to ask whether the higher ed committees’ leadership pays attention to anything other than appropriating money. I haven’t seen proof that they’ve paid attention to what’s happening at MnSCU or the universities.
Taxpayers can’t afford this consistent nonchalance from Chancellor Rosenston, the Trustees or the higher ed committee chairs. Their performance, or lack thereof, has been infuriating.
UPDATE: Here’s the IFO’s letter to Chancellor Rosenstone:
Technorati: IFO, Jim Grabowska, MnSCU, Board of Trustees, Steven Rosenstone, Higher Ed Committees, Gene Pelowski, Bud Nornes, Terry Bonoff, Michelle Fischbach, Oversight Hearings, McKinsey & Co., Consultants, Tuition Increases
Bill Hanna’s article apparently touched a nerve with Ken Martin, the chair of the DFL. Check out Martin’s testiness:
Martin, in a telephone interview on Saturday that got testy at times, said the issue has nothing to do with PolyMet or investments.
“It’s about transparency in politics and government. And I don’t begrudge anyone for investments. I don’t care if it would be a DFLer, a Republican or someone with the Green Party … she was late in filing her disclosure statement and should not have been,” Martin said.
Of the 42 candidates who have filed for the state’s constitutional offices, only Housley and Sharon Anderson, who is seeking the GOP nomination for attorney general, missed the filing deadline.
Housley has since made her disclosure filing and said missing the deadline was just an honest oversight. “It was in my outbox and never went out. It’s there now,” she said in the PIM story. Housley said her stake in PolyMet is only about $300.
But Martin said emphatically the amount is not the issue. “It doesn’t matter how much. What matters is she didn’t have full disclosure as required on time,” he said in the MDN interview.
So why was PolyMet the only business Martin mentioned in the news release regarding Housley? “Again, this has nothing to do with PolyMet,” he said emphatically.
Then why was PolyMet cited in his news release? “I don’t care what company it was or what industry. What matters is the company is regulated by the State of Minnesota and she had not disclosed her investments.”
But why PolyMet? What about other companies? “I don’t know if she has investments in any other companies regulated by Minnesota. Researchers went through her last statement (filed as a state senator) and PolyMet popped out to them,” Martin said.
Martin’s diatribe was triggered by his getting trapped talking about a subject he wishes would disappear entirely. Further, this isn’t about transparency. If transparency mattered to the DFL, DFL legislators wouldn’t have coordinated campaign expenditures with the DFL in 2012:
The Minnesota campaign finance agency on Tuesday slapped the Minnesota DFL Senate campaign with a $100,000 fine improperly coordinating 2012 campaign mailings with candidates.
The result of investigation and settlement talks that lasted more than a year, the fine is one of the largest ever levied in Minnesota for campaign violations. The penalty stems from candidates and the party committee violating rules that ban coordination between independent spending and what is controlled by a candidate.
Apparently, Chairman Martin didn’t think transparency was important then:
“Ultimately, it is best to set this distraction aside and allow our members to focus on governing,” Martin said.
Karin Housley omitting a $300 invenstment got Martin’s attention but the DFL getting hammered with one of the biggest campaign fines in Minnesota history is “a distraction”? But I digress.
Notice Martin’s evasiveness when Hanna asked why he singled out PolyMet. Here’s a revealing insight into Martin’s behavior:
Martin made it clear in the MDN interview he has grown increasingly “fed up” with both sides of the issue.
Martin’s wish is that he didn’t have to ever deal with this issue because it’s a can’t-win issue for the DFL. It’s something Hanna notes in his article:
PolyMet is a controversial and touchy subject politically for the DFL Party on the Range, which has been a traditional bastion of Democratic support in elections. But there is a widening political chasm on the issue this election year.
The extreme environmental wing of the party both on the Range and in the Twin Cities, which has great influence among activists, is strongly against PolyMet and other copper/nickel/precious metals venture in the works, such as Twin Metals Minnesota near Ely and Babbitt. And some are against all mining or even exploration drilling.
Martin knows that Rick Nolan will likely lose his congressional seat if the Iron Range doesn’t overwhelmingly and enthusiastically support Nolan. Further, he knows that Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken will be in the fight of their political lives if they aren’ enthusiastically supported by the Iron Range.
The truth is that this issue might split the DFL into tiny pieces. That’s the best explanation of what triggered Chairman Martin’s diatribe. He got testy with Bill Hanna because he’s seeing a brewing crisis for the DFL on the Range. The other explanation for Martin’s diatribe is because he isn’t used to reporters questioning the DFL. He’s gotten used to getting the red carpet treatment.
That won’t work this time because people on the Range are tired with the DFL’s ‘lip service support’ of the Range. They’re demanding authentic support, not just lip service support.
Technorati: Ken Martin, Culture of Corruption, Campaign Finance Fines, Environmental Activists, Polymet Mining, DFL Stronghold Mark Dayton, Rick Nolan, Al Franken, Campaign Coordination, DFL, Election 2014
It’s bad enough that AFSCME is intent on forcing a unionization vote down child care providers’ throats. What’s worse is that the person overseeing the election is owned by AFSCME:
Governor Dayton appointed Josh Tilsen to be commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) in Feburary 2011. As BMS commissioner, Tilsen administers union elections, resolves collective bargaining disputes, and oversees labor mediation and arbitration activities. He is paid more than $95,000 per year by the State of Minnesota for this full-time role.
In addition to Tilsen’s full-time work as BMS commissioner, he also maintains an outside consulting business, acting as an arbitrator for the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). According to the official Iowa PERB website (updated March 25, 2013), Tilsen’s per diem is $1,200. Notably, the office phone and fax number they list are Tilsen’s official BMS numbers in Minnesota. In addition, under “Current Employment/Associations that could cause a conflict,” it lists “None.”
That’s just part of it. There’s more:
Tilsen’s case in particular, though, seems riddled with real or potential conflicts of interest. While Tilsen technically consults for the State of Iowa, he is paid in part by labor unions, as both parties to arbitration cases share the cost of the arbitrator. To that point, according to U.S. Department of Labor records, Tilsen was paid $7,451 last year by AFSCME Council 61. Meanwhile, as Minnesota’s BMS commissioner, Tilsen oversees union elections and helps resolve union disputes involving AFSCME affiliates. As such, one has to ask: How can a fulltime, government official who collects income directly from a labor union be expected to act as an impartial referee of labor disputes?
While this isn’t illegal, it’s more than suspect. Jeff Johnson, the MNGOP-endorsed candidate for governor, made this statement on the matter:
“Mark Dayton uses his office to pay back his union campaign contributors, and apparently his Commissioner in charge of dealing with unions is in their pocket as well,” said Jeff Johnson.
“This is a gross conflict of interest. Commissioners have a full time job and are paid a handsome full-time salary by the taxpayers. They shouldn’t be doing outside work in any case, and certainly shouldn’t be taking paychecks from the people they are supposed to regulate,” Johnson said.
“This is just another example of Dayton’s sacrificing the interests of Minnesotans to those of his campaign contributors,” Johnson concluded.
It isn’t a stretch to think that Democrats side with their special interest allies more frequently than they side with Minnesota’s families. In fact, that’s their identity.
At this point, it’s reasonable to question the upcoming election’s integrity.
First, Tilsen needs to recuse himself. Second, Gov. Dayton needs to put back in place Gov. Pawlenty’s policy of prohibiting commissioners from having a side job. Third, the legislature should look into whether other commissioners in the Dayton administration are consultants. If other commissioners are consulting, they need to quit ASAP.
Michael Kinsley famously said that a political gaffe is when someone accidentally tells the truth. If that’s true, and I believe it is, then Bill Usher, the chairbeing of CD6 Democrats, committed a gaffe when he published this tweet:
Bill Usher’s tweet is almost as egregious as Ryan Winkler’s racist tweet last year:
It’s appalling that the chair of a major DFL organization called small businesspeople parasites. First, I don’t think he’s right when he said that postal workers don’t have to pay union dues while getting “the good wages and benefits” that the United Postal Workers negotiates. I’m not a union expert so I’m willing to be proven wrong on this. At minimum, I’d think they’d be required to pay fair share fees.
That being said, calling child care providers parasites is disgusting. It’s apparent what he thinks about people who aren’t unionized. I’m confident he isn’t alone in the DFL in thinking this. The DFL, especially the Metrocrat wing of the DFL, is run by the public employee unions. Right now, that’s the dominant wing of the DFL.
In a related case, the SEIU announced that they’re filing notice with the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services that they intend to organize home health care workers:
At a 1 p.m. Tuesday news conference outside the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services in St. Paul, home care workers will talk about having enough signed cards to trigger what they call the largest union election in Minnesota history. Supporters and disabled people who receive home health care will also be present.
The Strib article says SEIU faces an uphill fight. I agree with the Strib on this.
AFSCME’S statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn is exceptionally defensive sounding:
“No court case can stand in the way of millions of women who help us raise our children and care for our aging parents,” said Eliot Seide, director of AFSCME Council 5. “Child care providers and home care workers will continue to have a strong voice for good jobs and quality care for their consumers. This decision doesn’t stop them from organizing and collectively bargaining with states.”
AFSCME and the SEIU can bargain with state governments all they want. They just can’t collect dues from people who don’t want to be part of the union. The ruling did nothing to prevent collective bargaining. It just said that people who aren’t directly employed by the government aren’t government employees.
“This attack on worker rights is bankrolled by billionaires and big corporations to enrich themselves at the expense of hardworking Americans,” added Seide. The Harris case was brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an extreme anti-worker group funded by the Koch brothers and the Walton family.
I’d love hearing Seide explain how “billionaires and big corporations” get rich because of this ruling. I think Seide’s making this stuff up for political consumption to excite his base. If union workers don’t turn out in massive numbers for the DFL this fall, the DFL will take a bigtime hit.
“We won’t let right-wing extremists rob us of our rights,” said Clarissa Johnston, a pro-union child care provider from Mounds View. “Justice won’t be served until child care providers can vote on whether we want a union. When providers choose to join a union, we gain a voice on the job. We pay our dues to make our union strong. That gives us the power to get the fair compensation we deserve. We close the income gap and we lift our families out of poverty.”
Actually, unions pay dues to get Democrats elected. The notion that these union leaders are great altruists is silly.
“We unite to lift up our profession and prepare Minnesota’s poorest children for school and success in life,” said Marline Blake, a pro-union child care provider from Minneapolis. “Our union has helped to secure pre-school scholarships that make child care affordable for working parents. We provide training in first aid and CPR, child nutrition and safe infant sleep practices. Any court case that tries to stop our union is hurting the families who depend on us to keep their kids healthy, learning and safe.”
Consider this the unions’ best qualifications argument. It isn’t persuasive, though it’s dripping with chutzpah. Insisting that unionized child care providers are the only child care providers providing quality care is insulting the high quality non-unionized child care providers doing a fantastic job.
“We won’t rest until every worker has a voice on the job,” said Seide. “It’s the only proven way for caregivers to improve their lives and the lives of the families in their care.”
The women who run these in-home child care facilities are part entrepreneur, part teacher and part supervisor. That’s before mentioning a lengthy list of other qualifications these ladies bring to the table.
I’d triple dog dare Seide to tell these anti-union child care providers to their face that unionized child care providers are the only qualified providers.