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.

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One Response to “AFSCME’s statement on Harris v. Quinn”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    Keep in mind AFSCME Council 5 has money problems. One of their hopes for long term survial is to increase the number of AFSCME members paying dues. Yes it’s amazing that their definition of public employee is that if a person gets a check from the government (in the case of the home care workers they are trying to organize a check written to help a poor person have their kid in child care). does that mean for example that if a person takes their food stamp card somewhere that organization is now a public employee?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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