Saturday, December 26, 2009

Look for that union label... in places you'd least expect it.

We ran across the following item today from the Wall St. Journal courtesy Weasel Zippers regarding some highly dubious union organizing which involves the state withholding dues that are part of the subsidies paid to day-care centers.

Michelle Berry runs a private day-care service from her home on the outskirts of this city, the birthplace of General Motors. "The Berry Patch," as she calls the service, features overstuffed purple gorillas, giant cartoon murals, and a playroom covered in Astroturf. Her clients are mostly low-income parents who need child care to keep their jobs in a city that now has a 26% unemployment rate.

Ms. Berry owns her own business—yet the Michigan Department of Human Services claims she is a government employee and union member. The agency thus withholds union dues from the child-care subsidies it sends to her on behalf of her low-income clients. Those dues are funneled to a public-employee union that claims to represent her. The situation is crazy—and it's happening elsewhere in the country.

A year ago in December, Ms. Berry and more than 40,000 other home-based day care providers statewide were suddenly informed they were members of Child Care Providers Together Michigan—a union created in 2006 by the United Auto Workers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union had won a certification election conducted by mail under the auspices of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. In that election only 6,000 day-care providers voted. The pro-labor vote turned out.

Hmmm.... That story had an air of familiarity about it. To the archives!

Sho’nuff, back on Labor Day we blogged about a situation in Illinois where similar dubious union orgainizing practices were taking place, and similarly, the target was at-home assistance for the developmentally disabled and where even if you did not choose to be part of the union, union dues would be withheld.

We loved the money quote from one Kathy Keith who has cared for her son who suffers from Down syndrome for the past 23 years.
"Are you saying I can go on strike and not wipe my son's rear end?" Keith said, questioning if union membership would pit her interests against her son's.

The case in Michigan is particularly galling because Berry is serving low-income parents and the withholding of dues will be passed right along to these folks.

According to the article, the scheme in Michigan is effectively throwing the unions a cash lifeline as these unions, particularly the UAW, are hemorrhaging members and thus money and power.

You will also be pleased to know that in both Illinois and Michigan the Purple People-Beaters of the SEIU are heavily-involved.

When Germany faced the last depression, its government turned to a hand-in-glove partnership with corporations (including some American corporations, as has been shown in recent years) to solidify its power over its own people and to wage war on others.

Slight twist to the corporatist or fascist business model of above: this time we find the government forging a hand-in-glove partnership with the unions which could very well be considered corporations or Big Business in their own right.

P.S. Is it coincidence that the Big Government-Big Labor complex in both Michigan and Illinois are targeting stay-at-home women who lack the experience, time and resources to organize themselves against this forced “organization”? Don’t think that BG-BL thinks these folks are easy marks?

1 comment:

K T Cat said...

There's a time scale problem with combatting this. The political forces move much, much faster than the judicial forces. Fighting this galloping fascism in the courts is problematic.