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Workers’ revolt against Big Labor home invasion scheme continues

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 13, 2010 09:23 AM


Just say no

In October, I published a special report on how unions are extending their power grab into the private residences of home health care providers — and how parents in Illinois fought back. NLRB recess appointee and former SEIU lawyer Craig Becker played a key role in pushing the Big Labor home invasion scheme, which is a desperate attempt to shore up shrinking membership rolls. The intrepid parents took on SEIU and AFSCME and won. It’s a battle taking place across the country.

As I noted back in October, another of those battlegrounds is Michigan, where the unions have targeted home-based child day care providers.

The case is now headed to court.

Peggy Mashke tends to 12 children for 12 hours a day at her home, so she was surprised to get a letter welcoming her to the United Auto Workers union.

“I thought it was a joke,” said Mashke, 50, of northern Michigan’s Ogemaw County. “I work out of my home. I’m not an auto worker. How can I become a member of the UAW? I didn’t get it.”

Willing or not, Mashke and 40,000 other at-home providers are members of a labor partnership that represents people across Michigan who watch children from low-income families. Two unions receive 1.15 percent of the state subsidies granted to those providers, or more than $1 million a year.

Mashke has given up about $100 this year, and while she says it’s not a huge amount of money, she’s among a small group of home-based providers suing in federal court to break free from organized labor.

“It’s the principle. It’s my constitutional rights,” she said.

Amen. Both the National Right to Work Foundation and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are challenging the scheme.

It’s the tip of the iceberg — as a union goon himself admitted:

A fear that the “stealth unionization” of home-based day care workers could just be the start of a bigger effort was acknowledged in court on Tuesday by a union lawyer.

Patrick Wright, senior legal counsel for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, had said months ago that doctors that accept Medicaid, grocers that take food stamps and landlords that take housing assistance could be the next groups targeted in state efforts to unionize anyone who gets state subsidies.

The Mackinac Center has a lawsuit that it has appealed to the state Supreme Court about the state unionizing roughly 40,000 home-based day care workers. The state also unionized another 40,000 home workers for elderly and disabled. Both groups were unionized because they accepted state subsidies for low-income clients.

The issue came up in court when the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation was in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Tuesday to keep its suit from being dismissed. The National Right to Work is representing home-based day care workers on the national level.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker asked union lawyer John West if the state could unionize doctors in a similar way to the day care workers if the doctors accepted Medicaid.

West, a Washington, D.C., lawyer, told the judge at first it was a “slippery slope.”

But shortly later, West told the judge that unionization of any group that accepted state subsidies would be within the state’s authority if it had “added value” to the state or the public’s interest.

West said if the state could show added “value,” then “that could be imposed on anyone.”

First they came…

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