Center Legal Analyst Testifies on Bills to End Stealth Unionization

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright testified Tuesday on proposed legislation that would end the stealth unionization of home-based day care owners and prevent the same thing from happening to home health care workers.

Lansing political newsletters Gongwer News Service and the Michigan Information & Research Service (subscriptions required for both) covered the hearing. Wright told the Senate Families and Human Services Committee that because "union dues" are taken out of the subsidy checks day care owners receive on behalf of low-income parents, it raises the question if other professions could be organized just because their clients receive government assistance — such as pharmacists. Wright in the past has raised the same concern about doctors, landlords and grocers.

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Questions remain about the operations and funding of the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council, the shell corporation created by an interlocal agreement between the Michigan Department of Human Services and Mott Community College that lead to as many as 70,000 small-business owners being shanghaied into the union. Those day care owners, Gongwer pointed out, file 1099 tax returns, "which put them into the category of contractual workers." None of the entities involved have been able to adequately explain who the day care owners work for.

The MCLF filed suit against the DHS last September.