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SEIU Flip Flops on Pre-Paid Debit Cards

A proposed rule by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has SEIU Local 2015 scrambling to come up with a creative scheme to keep skimming union dues from subsidy checks for home-care workers.

The CMS rule would block states from making “payments to third parties on behalf of an individual for benefits such as health insurance, skills training, and other benefits.”

This means Medicaid reimbursements for home-care workers—often family members taking care of a loved one—can’t have union dues automatically withheld.

But the SEIU has devised a work-around. They’re pushing workers to receive their money through a pre-paid debit card—from which union dues will already be withheld.

Bloomberg’s Josh Eidelson reports:

The pre-paid debit card, co-branded by SEIU and the payroll company ADP, is the latest in a flurry of tactics unions are trying as they struggle to maintain their rolls, funding and political power amid a slew of legal and political threats.  … ADP Vice President Anthony Peculic declined to provide details on the fees of the new cards, but said they are both low and avoidable.

This isn’t the first time the SEIU has taken a stance on pre-paid cards—but last time, they were on the other side of the debate. For instance, when the CEO of CKE Restaurants Andy Puzder was nominated for Labor Secretary, the SEIU railed against the policies of his fast-food restaurants—including providing payment with pre-paid cards. The best part? The union’s objection to the pre-paid cards centered around “low and avoidable” fees that employees might have to pay if cards weren’t used in the recommended fashion.

Once their own interest was at stake, the SEIU was quick to change its tune on pre-paid cards. It’s just the latest example of “do as I say, not as I do” from the modern labor movement.

Categories: SEIU