Shanghai Surprise: The Unionization of Home Day Care Providers

Michelle Malkin said it best when she said, "The Culture of Corruption has never hit so close to home."

The prominent author, blogger and commentator was referring in a recent blog post to a shady scheme to shanghai Michigan's home day care providers into a newly-formed, dues-paying labor union. Last month, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation exposed this scheme in its first lawsuit, Loar v. DHS. A Mackinac Center news release explains the Sept. 16 filing:

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"...against the Michigan Department of Human Services in a case where a "shell corporation" was established to shanghai more than 40,000 home-based day care business owners into a government employees union. On behalf of two owners, Sherry Loar and Dawn Ives, the MCLF filed an action at the Michigan Court of Appeals seeking to stop the DHS from improperly siphoning 'union dues' out of state subsidy checks meant to provide assistance to low-income parents."

Here is a video that tells of the women's ordeal while simply trying to run businesses from their homes and further explains the scheme:

Loar v. DHS from Mackinac Center on Vimeo.

The DHS and its director have since responded, asking that the case be dismissed on procedure, rather than principle. In essence, the DHS "is currently unwilling to defend its practice of collecting 'union dues' from home-based day care center owners," according to Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright. He said, "The defendants' response shows that they lack the courage of their convictions."

In the meantime, other home day care providers around the state are stepping into the fray. Detroit television station WXYZ interviewed a Brighton woman who is similarly outraged at her new-found union "membership". The Mackinac Center has been contacted by her and several others, interested in offering their voice and support to the Legal Foundation as it works to keep what Michelle Malkin calls a "culture of corruption" out of the home.