Yesterday, Gov. Dayton gave up the fight to unionize child care small businesses:
ST. PAUL, MN (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he won’t fight a court ruling that blocked a unionization vote he called for home-based child care workers.
Dayton said Tuesday that he disagrees with the April decision but opted not to appeal it. A Ramsey County judge said the Democratic governor had overstepped his bounds by calling the election via an executive order rather than going through the Legislature.
The development further stalls a collective bargaining push by unions trying to organize child care providers. The election was supposed to take place in December, but a judge first halted balloting and later quashed the Dayton order altogether.
President Lisa Thompson of AFSCME Child Care Providers Together says Dayton “respects our democratic right to decide for ourselves whether or not we want a union.”
First things first. Enough with the euphemisms. The people that AFSCME and the SEIU wanted to force unionization onto aren’t “home-based child care workers.” They’re small businesses delivering child care services.
Next, AFSCME CCPT President Thompson is lying through her teeth when she says that Gov. Dayton “respects our democratic right to decide for ourselves whether or not we want a union.” Gov. Dayton doesn’t respect people’s rights to unionize. That’s why he attempted to only let 4,300 of the 11,000 licensed child care small businesses vote. He tried rigging the vote.
Gov. Dayton’s admission was essentially moot since child care small businesses filed a federal lawsuit challenging the unions’ ability to tell small businesses who will be their lobbyists:
The federal lawsuit will contend the union effort authorized by Governor Dayton’s executive order on November 15, 2011 violates the providers’ first amendment right of free political expression and association. The National Right to Work Foundation, a nonprofit legal aid association based in Washington, DC, has offered free legal assistance to child care providers who are battling what they view as compulsory unionization.
“The allegation is going to be that it’s unconstitutional, that the First Amendment guarantees everyone the right to choose with whom they associate to petition government and that the government can’t choose who’s going to represent providers for lobbying the state,” said Bill Messenger, an attorney with the National Right to Work Foundation who’s working on the case.
This case is essentially finished. Here’s the text of the First Amendment:
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.
In short, small businesses can’t be forced to hire Company A or Union B or anyone without their consent. If ABC Child Care wants to lobby the legislature on their own, that’s their right. Congress can’t infringe upon that right. Gov. Dayton can’t either. The unions can’t tell these small businesses that they have to associate with the unions, either.
The First Amendment says that individuals or a collection of individuals can petition their government and seek resolution of their complaints in the way they determine best meets their needs.