Progressive Department of Labor Joins Fight against Home Care Workers

As I have said before, President Obama’s Department of Labor is a prime example of activist bureaucracy. The department’s latest escapade has been to support the notorious SEIU in a bid to absorb home care providers.

The SEIU is known to operate in unbelievably undemocratic ways, even towards its own members. Now they say that they would help home care workers, which they argue can be classified as public employees simply because they receive money from state governments to help with patient care.

I’m not buying it and neither are home care workers, who have fought tooth and nail against unionization because union membership would mean that money which could go to patient care would inevitably be siphoned off into dues payments.

Vermont child care providers have been some of the many to speak out about this unfortunate trend.

Since the first child care union was formed in 2005, unions have siphoned tens of millions of dollars from the child care assistance programs, even as many of those programs faced funding reductions.

Even though Vermont child care providers have fought the good fight, Democratic Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has just signed a bill that authorizes unions to organize the state’s home care workers.

Not only does unionization of home care workers take money away from patient care, it technically unionizes employers, since many home care workers are self-employed. Minnesota home care workers point out that this is illegal according to federal labor law:

We are all independent, self-employed, small business owners. We set our own rates, hours, policies, vacation days, sick days, working conditions, etc…Employers are not allowed to unionize as it violates federal labor and anti-trust laws…People cannot be both independent business owners and state employees.

On top of being illegal and detrimental to patients, home care workers are usually made possible through deception and misinformation, as illustrated by the venerable SEIU’s card-check tactics.

A final argument against unionization of independent home care workers is one of practicality: who would home care unions be negotiating with if home care workers are their own bosses?

The Department of Labor should at least consider the muffled protests of these home care workers before they jump on SEIU’s coercive bandwagon.