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Judge Denies Motion To Stop Unionization Of Minnesota Homecare Providers

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota denied a motion Wednesday to immediately stop the unionization of homecare providers in the state.

The motion was brought forth by a group of home-based personal care providers who sought to “halt the unionization of the state’s homecare providers” according to a press release by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW), which has been providing the homecare workers with free legal aid.

The suit which was filed last month against Gov. Mark Dayton and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by Teri Bierman and eight other providers from around the state, seeks to “challenges a law that authorizes the forcible unionization of the state’s providers on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of free political expression and association.”

The press release went on to cite The Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn decision: “The Court held that individuals who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele cannot be forced to pay compulsory union fees. The Court’s ruling frees home-based childcare and personal care providers from forced union dues and fees in at least 13 other states.”

In response to the motion being denied, NRTW vice president Patrick Semmens said in a statement given to The  Daily Caller News Foundation, “We disagree with the judge’s ruling which opens the door for the forced unionization of Minnesota’s homecare providers – many of whom take care of their own family members in their own homes – who want nothing to do with the SEIU.”

The statement goes onto say, “the state of Minnesota should not be picking homecare providers’ official representative to the government. And when the state forces the SEIU’s so-called representation on individuals who don’t want and never ask for that representation, it will violate Minnesota homecare providers’ First Amendment rights.”

Last week, child care provider Jennifer Parrish spoke at the Heritage Foundation of her experience with forced unionization and manipulative union tactics in Minnesota.

Parrish described a man who “walked into my home without knocking and asked me to sign what he said was a petition asking for the state for health insurance for child care providers like myself.”

After refusing because she had health insurance, the man “grew more and more upset with me each time I said no. It was a very intimidating experience.”

“He would not leave. For every answer I gave him as to why I didn’t want to sign his petition, he had a prepared response,” Parrish added. “I just about signed just to get him to leave.”

“The way that I finally got him out of my home was I told him that I would sign his petition later if he would just leave it for me to look over when I had time” Parrish concluded. “He was supposed to come back and pick it up later that day, he never came back, I think he assume once I read the fine print I wouldn’t be interested any longer.”

Andrew Kloster, a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told TheDCNF, “He never identified himself as part of the union.”

The debate in Minnesota will continue.

“In effect Governor Dayton is picking the SEIU as the lobbyists for Minnesota’s personal care providers as payback for the union bosses who have been some of his most generous political supporters,” NRTW president Mark Mix said in a statement. “The court should immediately halt this violation of homecare providers’ fundamental right of free association”.

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