NFIB/MN Hails SCOTUS Decision on Forced Unionization

Date: June 30, 2014

St. Paul
(June 30, 2014)

The US Supreme Court today ruled that states cannot force home care providers
to pay labor union dues to unions which they don’t belong in a decision that
the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) called a major victory
for small business in Minnesota.


“If the state
can force private home health care workers to join unions or pay union dues
simply because their clients received public subsidies, then it could
eventually try to coerce other types of businesses under the same pretense,”
said NFIB State Director Mike Hickey.  “This has major implications
for the law in Minnesota, which is modeled after the Illinois law that
was struck down today.”


The case, Harris
v. Quinn
, originated in Illinois and focused on whether states can force
non-union home care workers to join labor unions if their clients receive
public subsidies to purchase those services.  That’s the basis on which
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued an executive order in 2003 designating home care
workers as “public employees” even though they work for individual patients in
private homes.  Minnesota has a similar law although it has not been
fully implemented yet and no union election has been held yet.


government is way out of line in this situation by reclassifying private sector
workers as government workers simply because public money is involved in the
care of the patient,” said Hickey. 


The state
provides millions of dollars in the form of assistance to many Minnesotans
under many different programs. They use some of it to purchase goods and
services from private sector businesses of every variety and they’re all
private transactions between private citizens and private businesses. 
Workers in those businesses cannot be forced into unions because of where their
customers get their money.


“Only a small
fraction of the private sector workforce in Minnesota is unionized
because workers don’t want to join,” said Hickey.  “These laws are
part of a scheme to artificially boost union membership and if the law were implemented
in Minnesota it would be harmful to independent care providers by driving up
their costs and forcing them to pay dues that are used in part for political
activities that they might not support.”


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