Victory against Big Labor: Home health providers reject SEIU, AFSCME power grab
Over the past two weeks, I’ve reported on the grass-roots revolt by home health providers against the SEIU and rival AFSCME in Illinois.
SEIU-endorsed Gov. Pat Quinn signed an executive order in June approving collective bargaining by “individual providers of home-based support services” — effectively busting open the doors of private homes for the Purple Shirts of the SEIU and other union competitors hungry for new dues-paying members. SEIU and its minions leaned hard on providers to join — even sending out-of-state workers to intrude on families with the promise of juicy benefits and health care coverage. Democrat officials tried to intimidate parents like Pam Harris into silence over their efforts to inform providers that they could vote for no representation.
The thuggery backfired. Bigtime.
The votes were counted today and despite Big Labor’s massive coffers, manpower, and out-of-state propaganda campaign, the unionization effort was an epic fail. Here’s an exclusive look at the breakdown:
SEIU – 293 votes
AFSCME – 220 votes
NO UNION – 1018 votes
The local CBS affiliate adds:
Illinois workers who are paid by the state to care for severely disabled people in their homes have voted down an effort to unionize.
More than 3,000 home health care workers mailed in their ballots this month; the ballots were counted on Monday and most of those workers voted not to join a union, according to Alan Symonette, an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, which counted the vote.
The workers could have voted to join the American Federation of State, county of Municipal Employees or the Service Employees International Union, but more than half of them voted to remain non-union.
The vote came after Gov. Pat Quinn signed an executive order paving the way for home health care workers – most of whom care for their own family members – to decide if they should unionize and collectively bargain with the state on how much funding they receive.
Representatives of AFSCME and SEIU did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
This is a teachable moment for home health providers in other states. The power-hungry unions’ home invasion tactics have worked in the past. But they can be defeated.
Be alert, be informed, and be ready to fight back. Knowledge is power.
The NLRB nomination of SEIU heavy Craig Becker need for increased vigilance, via the WSJ:
One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to Acorn, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress.
Yet now that he could soon have the power to act on this conviction, Mr. Becker won’t tell Congress if this is what he still believes. In written responses to questions from Republican Orrin Hatch, Mr. Becker promised only to “maintain an open mind about whether [his] suggestions should be implemented in any manner.” That sounds like his mind is made up but he won’t admit it lest it hurt his confirmation.
Mr. Becker also won’t give a clear answer about his role in preparing several pro-labor executive orders issued by President Obama shortly after inauguration. Mr. Becker’s name was found in at least one of the documents, suggesting that he had written it.
When asked by Sen. Hatch if he was “involved or responsible in any way” for these executive orders, Mr. Becker responded: “I was not responsible for [the specific executive orders] except as described below. As a member of the Presidential Transition Team, I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.” In other words, Mr. Becker was the main author but would rather not say so explicitly.
Why not? Well, perhaps because Mr. Becker seems to have been on the SEIU payroll at the time he did his “drafting.” Many people take leaves of absence from their private jobs when serving on a transition team, but Mr. Becker says he was on “vacation.” And his “vacation” seems to have been sporadic. “My work on the Transition Team was not full time or continuous . . . When I was not on vacation in order to work on the Transition Team, I continued to perform my regular work for both SEIU and the AFL-CIO.” The White House has made a public show of banning paid lobbyists from certain Administration jobs, but it let a paid union operative draft government documents benefiting unions.
There’s more. One of the many accusations leveled against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is that he accepted money from the SEIU in return for taking actions giving collective bargaining rights to Illinois home health-care workers. While Mr. Becker denies any knowledge of, or role in, contributions to the former Governor, he does admit that he provided “advice and counsel to SEIU relating to proposed executive orders and proposed legislation giving homecare workers a right to organize and engage in collective bargaining under state law.”
Mr. Becker says he “worked with and provided advice” to SEIU Local 880 in Chicago, a beneficiary of the newly unionized health workers, and one of two SEIU locals currently in the national spotlight for its deep ties with Acorn.