Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yesterday morning during my white knuckled drive through the blizzard, I turned on the radio to learn about the snow storm. I could not believe what I was hearing on the talk show.

The UAW in Michigan has forced Day Care providers that accept state vouchers to join their union. Whether they want to or not!

According to a 2008 state law, it does not matter if you are a woman that provides in home day care for a one child or a large day care with 100 rug rats. If you provide day care needs for any low income families that pay for the service through vouchers, a union rep will be visiting you to make certain you sign on the dotted line.

Not only is this the law in Michigan, it is the law in 14 other states including New Jersey and Ohio.

A year ago in December, 2008 more than 40,000 other home-based day care providers within Michigan 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. Most of the other 40,000 plus Day Care providers were unaware of any new referendum that was being voted into law.

When you consider many of the Day Cares employ anywhere from a handful of people and in some instances only one person and the staff is essentially working for the parents, who does one go to with their demands? After all is not the purpose of a union to provide better working conditions through collective bargaining?

So for a homemaker who is a sole proprietor and opens her home to watch four or five kids and finds herself a union member, who does she collectively bargain with?

Though I am not familiar with New Jersey’s situation, in Michigan and Ohio the States Department of Human Services broke the good news. Each State had separately established a union known as Child Providers Together.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
in center looking gubenatorial

This public employees union has minimal staff, no control over the state funds and no supervision of rules for the day cares. In essence they are a shell union created for the purpose of funding itself. This was created through the states use of a ersatz employer and an ersatz collective bargaining agent to create and ersatz union for the sole purpose of organizing. By state law the providers must join the union or shut down.

In Michigan last year, $3.7 million was paid to the Department of Human Services as union dues paid by these Day Cares. However the Day Cares have no actual benefits.

Is this legal? Does it violate one’s Constitutional rights? The freedom of association clause within the Constituion prevents compulsory unionism. Courts have determined the only exeption is when unionism is necessary for labor peace due to rioting. The basis for the Day Care unions is to siphon off State provided money from vouchers to provide the UAW and AFSCM with money. Something just doesn’t ring true with this scheme. It is reminicent of the method Britain used several centuries past of recruiting sailors. I believe it was called Shanghaiing.

My doctor takes medicare and medicaid. There are attorneys that are paid through legal aide. Hospitals accept vouchers for low income patients, they will even provide a cab voucher to get a person there and back. Some apartment and property rental agents accept HUD funding to offset rent for low income families. Are these folks going to be roped into joining a union because they accept state funds?

I seriously doubt it.

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