Forced Unionization of Small-Business Owners Appealed to Michigan Supreme Court

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court its lawsuit defending the rights of small-business owners who were shanghaied into a union, according to WEYI-TV 25 in Saginaw.

The plaintiffs in the case, three home-based day care owners, are independent contractors who receive subsidy checks from the state of Michigan on behalf of low-income parents who need child care while they are working or enrolled in school. A shell corporation created by the Michigan Department of Human Services and Mott Community College led to the forced unionization of some 40,000 day care operators, with some $3.7 million in "union dues" being taken from their state payments.

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"There are places that a union is needed, but not in your home," Sherry Loar, the lead plaintiff, told the Petoskey News-Review. Think about it. How in the world am I supposed to hold a union meeting? I'm labor and management."

The original law suit was dismissed without explanation by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

"I was appalled," Loar told the Lansing State Journal of that decision. "I don't like to be dismissed without a reason. I want an answer."

Michelle Berry, another plaintiff, told the Detroit Free Press, "We got a mailing that said 'Congratulations, you're a union member.' That's just wrong. We're self-employed."