Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

“The cards were obtained from people, in lots of cases, by trick and device”

The public-sector unions’ political machine just keeps chugging along. Their latest strategy to add members has been to find friendly state governors who will sign orders allowing the unions to represent childcare and home-care workers who happen to contract with the state. In essence these labor-friendly politicians are repaying their supporters by signing over new members — without letting those workers even vote the union in with a real election.

In Oregon, Gov. Ted Kulongoski — who would have faced an embarrassing re-election defeat were it not for the support of powerful unions like SEIU — just turned over 2,000 adult foster-care contractors to … you guessed it, SEIU.

The Statesman Journal reports:

With the stroke of his pen, Gov. Ted Kulongoski has granted 2,000 adult foster-home providers the right to engage in collective bargaining with the state, something they’ve been unable to win so far from the Legislature. 

Some critics complain that the unions weren’t able to win through the right process, so they turned to this “end run.” But there’s a more important concern here, and it has to do with the general theme of unions not letting potential members decide on representation through a secret ballot vote. The paper notes that more than 100 foster care workers even asked to retract their signatures from union cards and that:

Critics also decry the lack of a formal union-recognition election among the affected people.

“The cards were obtained from people, in lots of cases, by trick and device,” said Grover Simmons, a lobbyist for the Independent Adult Foster Home Association.

Categories: AFL-CIOEnding Secret Ballots