This article must have Gov. Dayton and his pro-unionization allies worried:
The Supreme Court will hear arguments about forced unionization among government workers on Tuesday in a case that could greatly curtail powerful labor groups.
At issue is an Illinois law crafted by imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and enforced by his successor Pat Quinn that forces home healthcare workers, including family members caring for relatives, to pay union dues.
The lawsuit highlights some interesting hypocrisies:
“The Illinois law only defines them as employees in terms of unionization and no other rights at all,” said NRTWLDF lawyer Bill Messenger. “This is a scheme for compulsory lobbying.”
The caregivers do not receive liability insurance coverage or retirement benefits that other government workers are entitled to, according to Messenger. If the court holds that state governments can force any secondary beneficiary of taxpayer dollars in the union, “vast swaths of the population” would end up paying union dues.
The NRTWLDF’s claim is valid. If in-home child care providers are part of AFSCME or the SEIU, then they should receive the same benefit packages as AFSCME or SEIU employees. If they don’t, then forced unionization should be seen for what it is: an attempt to collect more union dues.
AFSCME doesn’t care about these small business owners. They care about staying politically relevant.
Then there’s this:
“All doctors or nurses who care for Medicare patients would have to join a union by that logic,” Messenger said. “What unions are looking at is trying to attach themselves to any kind of government funding.”
AFSCME’s definition of a public employee defies logic. According to Minnesota’s forced unionization law, private sector employers are classified as public sector employees if they accept children whose parents get government assistance. According to AFSCME’s thinking, employees of construction companies that win bids on public works projects would be forced to join a union or pay fair share fees.
Another argument that I’ve heard relating to forced unionization is that the First Amendment gives businesses the right to determine who represents them in airing their grievances with the government. That makes sense because the National Labor Relations Act prohibits businesses from dominating a union:
Federal law mandates that it is an unfair labor practice for an employer to “…dominate or interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization or contribute financial or other support to it…” 29 U.S.C. 158 (a)(2)
If a business wants a trade organization or a lobbying firm to represent their interests before the government, that should be their right. Further, based on the Illinois law, it sounds like SEIU is only interested in shaking down businesses. They aren’t interested in actually representing in-home child care small businesses.
I won’t pretend that I’m a constitutional attorney but it seems to me that the forced unionization movement is more about shaking people down than it is about representing people. That’s because the vast majority of in-home child care small businesses don’t want union representation.