Left Eyes Forced Unionization of Home Care Providers

After spending more than a decade in finance, Michael Volpe has worked as a freelance journalist since 2009. He's based in Chicago. Volpe published his first book in October 2012, titled "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall." His new book, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers," is now available.


Fourteen states have implemented laws that forcibly unionize home child day care providers, often against their will or even unbeknownst to them. Unions that cater to government employees like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union have been a driving force behind the proliferation of these new unions, according to a new report in the Capital Research Center.

The report, published by the husband and wife team of Mallory and Elisabeth Factor, began with this provocative thesis.

“Unable to persuade most private sector workers to join unions, labor strategists are using political connections and dubious legal arrangements to unionize private citizens without their consent—including parents caring for their own children.”

In these schemes, the government in question forms a shell corporation. That corporation’s sole purpose is to become an employer mandated by the state to employ all home child day care workers. Unions are able to pull this off because a loophole in the law allows them to unionize any profession that receives government funding. Home-based child care workers often receive state funding. Once these workers are considered employees of the state, unions like the SEIU and AFSCME are free to try and unionize them.

Here’s how a home-based day care provider from Michigan named Peggy Mashke described the experience. “I received a notice in the mail from the UAW congratulating me on my new membership. I was kind of shocked.” In that notice, Mashke was also informed that she’d now be paying dues to the UAW.

How could this happen? The Factors explained the scheme further.

In unionization elections, the union is technically required to notify all eligible voters—but whenever the union wins such a vote, many of the newly unionized workers say they never saw a notice and didn’t know an election was being held. Once the union is certified, providers seeking to get rid of it must go through the difficult process of decertification. Each state has its own procedure for decertification, but each of them includes major obstacles—obstacles so high that no group of care providers has ever achieved decertification.

It’s important to note that unions merely need to get a majority of the votes cast, and as little as fifteen percent of those that would be represented in a union often vote in elections to accept membership.

The Factors have recently written a book on this subject entitled Shadowbosses. In it, they describe how these sorts of schemes are the brainchild of two individuals primarily, Andy Stern and Craig Becker.

Stern was the longtime head of the SEIU. He ran that union from 1996-2010. He was routinely featured in news stories showing him as the most frequent visitor to the White House, according to White House logs.

Meanwhile, Becker is the radical labor lawyer that wound up holding a seat on the National Labor Relations Board after Obama made him a recess appointment. For years, Becker was the top counsel to the SEIU. While serving on the NLRB, Becker was chiefly responsible for holding up the approval of a Boeing plant in South Carolina because that state is a right-to-work state.

Wade Rathke, the founder of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) said this of Becker: “[Becker has been] crafting and executing the legal strategies and protections which have allowed the effective organization of informal workers.”

The Factors argue that Obamacare will provide numerous opportunities for new schemes. That’s because Obamacare will provide all sorts of new government funding for all sorts of health care-related workers. That funding will allow unions to try and unionize all sorts of new professions.

Even as union membership waning as a whole, union membership among government employees has exploded. With schemes like this, that number is likely to go up even more.

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  • pollio

    As all of us know, many lower income people babysit in their homes for a little money on the side. Its a known fact that many if not all voted for the Great One . So now, it looks like they will be forced to join the Unions and of course "pay dues" . Its only fitting because after all, the Great One will give them all the free phones, food stamps, housing , medical care, etc , etc. So , its time for them to show their gratitude for the wonderful life they will now have.

  • riverboatbill

    They are coming for your children.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    OBAMACARE: Where Hearse & Nurse are relative terms.

    THAT is Why Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell exempt themselves from the LAWs they pass for their electorate plebs.

    TAKE BACK America from the ARROGANT elected politicians!

    • Mary Sue

      they'd have been better off if they'd just plagiarized the Canada Health Act than put through that monstrosity.

  • Ghostwriter

    Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

    • kafir4life

      Because you're intelligent and can think? (or was that rhetorical?)

  • Steve

    Take government power away by pulling your kids out of public schools. Here in CA 50% of the states budget goes to public education. Cut the number of kids in half and you no longer need so many teachers and bureaucats. This takes money away from the unions. I send my kids to a Lutheran private school. It's only $4200 per child and scholarships are available. There is no entrance test, they accept everyone.

  • kafir4life

    I avoid union made goods and services whenever possible. It makes no sense to patronize any business that is union run, including an obamacar from GM or Chrysler. Buying from a union run company is the same as giving money directly to President Stinky (BO) and his ilk. In the private sector, it's pretty easy to avoid such companies. A little more difficult with the likes of public sector unions, but moving from NY to a Right-to-work state helped, as my property taxes (on similar value homes) in NY were FIVE TIMES what I pay now! The difference? TEACHERS UNIONS!!

  • kafir4life

    It's terribly amusing that the bulk of union memebers don't even know that they are being conned by both their "leadership" and the Democrat party. I'm amused that they continually believe that the unions give a rats behind about them! All the leadership cares about is their own sweet deals, and nothing about its members. It's mostly a combination of shear ignorance and lack of marketable skills that put them in a position where they BEG the union to dip into their paychecks and take money away from their families. It's really quite stunning….and amusing to a degree.
    In the interest of full disclosure, I've been in three unions, each worse than the previous.