Free Market Policy Organizations Push Back Against Stealth Unionization Campaign

Washington, DC, February 6, 2012 – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is trying to unionize home health care workers in Connecticut by stealth—and Governor Dannel P. Malloy is helping them. In response, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Yankee Institute for Public Policy together this week launched a mail campaign to inform unsuspecting workers about SEIU’s efforts, and help them make an informed decision.

SEIU has already carried out such stealth tactics in other states. Here’s how it works: A pro-union governor issues an executive orders defining any health care workers who serve clients who receive any sort of government assistance as state employees who can be unionized. The union and its allies avoid media and public attention.

The only notice home health care workers receive concerning a union election is a nondescript mailing asking them if they wish to join the union. Under this process, the union only needs to receive a majority of returned cards—not a majority of all workers—to be recognized as those workers’ exclusive bargaining representative.

For example in Michigan, SEIU won representation over 45,000 health care workers with only 20 percent of eligible voters participating. Most of those workers were unaware of the unionization effort and did not sign or return their cards. For SEIU, this was very profitable. Since 2006, it has collected $28 million in compulsory union dues from home care workers in Michigan. Now it wants to replicate that in Connecticut.

Competitive Enterprise Institute labor policy experts offered the following comments.

CEI Policy Analyst Trey Kovacs: “Forced unionization of home health and day care workers shows government at its worst. Across the nation, union political influence has swayed elected officials such as Gov. Malloy to divert tax dollars intended to cover medical expenses for their states’ poor residents to enrich union coffers instead.”

CEI Labor Policy Counsel F. Vincent Vernuccio: “Every worker in the private sector should have the right to join or not join a union. SEIU’s ploy of stealth unionization aimed at denying workers a secret ballot brings its forced unionism agenda to a new low. It shows a union that is more concerned with collecting mandatory dues than with doing what is in the best interest of workers. CEI is privileged to be working with the Yankee Institute to warn home healthcare providers of SEIU’s deplorable tactics.”

CEI and Yankee Public Policy Institute are providing home health care workers in Connecticut a public notice mailing to educate them about SEIU’s stealth unionization campaign and the costs that unionization would impose.

► The mailing can be found on CEI’s Labor Policy website: