Last year, in Harris v. Quinn, a case argued and won by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, the U.S. Supreme Court put a modest, but significant limit on government union bosses’ forced-dues privileges.
Thanks to Harris, home health caregivers, daycare providers, group home leaders, and other Americans who perform services for individuals, but receive indirect funding from the government, may not for that reason be forced to support a government union financially.
Unfortunately, union bosses and many of their puppet politicians around the country appear to be unwilling to accept that outcome.
In state after state, union bosses are colluding with bureaucrats to force all care providers, including those who choose not to join their organizations, to attend “training sessions,” during which they are served up ample portions of Big Labor propaganda.
‘You Know That by Becoming a Care Provider You Joined a Union, Right?’
One home care provider in Washington State who was forced to attend such a “training session” recently reported to the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation what he and his fellow trainees had been falsely told by José Manzano, an organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 775:
“You know that by becoming a care provider you joined a union, right?”
Fortunately, a number of state and local government agencies have so far resisted helping SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry, her lieutenants, and other union chiefs circumvent the Harris decision.
That’s why SEIU officials in California, for example, are now pressuring legislators to mandate by statute that home daycare providers who choose not to join a union as well as those who do follow procedures attend training sessions approved by Big Labor.
In the Golden State, union-label Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is currently leading the charge for S.B.548, a measure specifically designed to corral home-based providers of daycare for low-income children into unions.
Mr. de León has faced more intense opposition to this power grab than he evidently expected in Big Labor-dominated Sacramento.
‘People Shouldn’t Be Forced to Be Part of a Club They Don’t Want to Join’
Consequently, he has not yet succeeded in getting a floor vote as this Newsletter edition goes to press. He has recently reaffirmed his determination to see S.B.548 become law.
National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen commented that the fact that legislators in California and elsewhere are still trying to ram into law bills to pressure home care providers into bankrolling unions a year after Harris illustrates how no Right to Work victories are final.
“As Mary Jarvis, an Empire State home daycare provider and Right to Work Foundation client, has put it, ‘People shouldn’t be forced to be part of a club they don’t want to join,’” said Mr. Leen.
“Sadly, under federal and state labor laws, millions of employees are still forced to support financially unions they would never voluntarily join.
“But since Harris was decided more than a year ago, independent home caregivers who don’t work for the government or a business have had a recognized right in all 50 states to refuse to fork over money to an unwanted union.
“That’s a significant step forward for the Right to Work. Making Harris protections genuine and practicable, however, will require eternal vigilance.”
National Committee Stands Ready To Do ‘Everything Necessary’ To Ensure S.B.548’s Defeat
Mr. Leen vowed that the Committee’s legislative staff would monitor the California Senate closely and be ready to mobilize public opposition as soon as S.B.548 begins to move forward.
“As difficult as the legislative climate has been in California for Right to Work supporters in recent years, I believe this power grab can be defeated,” he concluded.