Right to Work Foundation attorneys continue federal class-action lawsuit against union officials to recover millions in illegally confiscated dues
Cincinnati, OH (January 18, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, five Michigan home-based childcare providers have filed a federal appeal to win back forced union dues taken from tens of thousands of providers in the state.
Carrie Schlaud, Diana Orr, Peggy Mashke, and Edward and Nora Gross originally filed a federal class-action suit against then-Governor Jennifer Granholm and a United Auto Workers (UAW) and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) coalition, the Child Care Providers Together Michigan (CCPTM) union, for designating home childcare providers who accepted state assistance as public employees solely for the purposes of CCPTM "representation" and forcing them to pay union dues.
Under Granholm's direction, the Michigan Department of Human Services created the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council to provide union officials with an entity to negotiate with as the childcare providers' "management." Working with the council, CCPTM operatives staged a union certification election to acquire monopoly bargaining privileges over Michigan childcare providers.
Although only 15 percent of the 40,000 childcare providers receiving state assistance voted in the union certification election, CCPTM union bosses were then granted monopoly lobbying privileges and the power to collect union dues from home-based care providers.
The five childcare providers won a settlement with Governor Rick Snyder ensuring that Michigan will no longer be able to force home-based childcare providers into union ranks. However CCPTM union officials still possess forced union dues previously collected from tens of thousands of providers.
The plaintiffs and National Right to Work Foundation attorneys are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to overturn a lower court's ruling denying the workers class-action status in their quest to obtain refunds from the CCPTM hierarchy.
"Our work won't be over until UAW and AFSCME union bosses are forced to return over two million dollars in forced dues they extracted from unwilling childcare providers since 2008," said Patrick Semmens, Legal Information Director for the National Right to Work Foundation. "No worker should be compelled to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, which is why Michigan desperately needs Right to Work protections for its workers."