Supreme Court ruling of Illinois union dues sends shock waves to California big labor

Were the Supreme Court ruling in favor of union dues for in-home care givers to happen in California, as it did in Illinois, Labor could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in dues and find it difficult to expand its representation in the fastest growing sector of the economy. The assault on unions continues unabated to diminish their power, especially in the public sector.

“The campaigns are operating at the state level, at the national level, at unions – both in the private and public sector – and aimed at government agencies,” stated Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp of Thomas Jefferson Law School.

Bisom-Rapp says the suit filed in Illinois by the National Right to Work Organization will likely be filed in California.

“I’d say probably pretty good because my understanding is the National Right to Work Fund is interested in filing in other states.”

And California is a plum state with about 350,000 in-home care givers. But the court sort of carved out in-home givers from other unions because they’re neither private nor public sector workers – they’re something in between.

“None of the complete impact has been realized or completely analyzed,” said Johanna Puno Hester of the United Domestic Workers Union.

Hester could have lost substantial funds and have trouble organizing new workers, but then again, maybe not.

“We will continue to stand with home care providers regardless of what the ruling is.”

There are about 350,000 in-home care givers in California whose dues are around $360 a year – 22,000 of them in San Diego. Yvonne Griffin is one of them:

“The union is great because they stand in for us. So when I can’t go, I know someone is there representing me.”

This is her first experience with a union and now has benefits she never had before.

“There’s a lot of different things – discounts and benefits that were attached to it – that were really helpful. I was really amazed.”

This is one of the lower paying jobs because in-home care is paid for out of Medicaid funds. It’s understandable in the private sector to have members withhold some dues that would be used for political speech. But in the public sector, everything is political because politicians approve labor contracts. How do you separate the two?

Categories: KUSI