Lansing, MI (February 17, 2010) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, a group of Michigan home-based day-care providers have filed a class-action federal lawsuit against government union officials and Governor Granholm’s Administration for illegally forcing them to pay union dues.
Carrie Schlaud and Diana Orr of Lapeer County, Edward and Nora Gross of Ingham County, and Peggy Mashke of Ogemaw County — with assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation — filed the federal suit today on behalf of all of Michigan’s 40,000 home-care providers.
The suit challenges a scheme created by Granholm, Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) officials, and a union front group called “Child Care Providers Together Michigan” (CCPTM) to designate home-care providers who accept state assistance as “state employees” and foist CCPTM union political “representation” on them. CCPTM is an operation run by the United Autoworker (UAW) and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) unions.
Under Granholm’s direction, DHS officials created the “Michigan Home Based Child Care Council” to provide the union bosses with an entity to deal with as the “management” of the home child-care providers. Even though only 15 percent of the 40,000 day-care providers voted in the union certification election, the CCPTM union hierarchy was granted monopoly bargaining privileges and political representation of all the home-care providers.
The DHS now siphons union dues from the providers’ paychecks and forwards the money into the union bosses’ bank accounts. Recent media reports suggest that in exchange for their special government-granted privileges to force Michigan’s home-care providers under union monopoly control, the union bosses benefiting from this scheme contribute to various pro-compulsory unionism politicians in Michigan, including Governor Granholm.
The class-action suit challenges the forced-unionism scheme on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of free political expression and association.
“This scheme is nothing more than pure political payback; union bosses funnel millions of dollars to the campaigns of pro-forced unionism politicians, and the same politicians are forcing home-care providers to pay tens of millions of dollars into union boss coffers,” said Patrick Semmens, Legal Information Director of the National Right to Work Foundation.
The federal lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern Division.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.