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Judge considers unionization of child care workers in Minn.

By Don Davis

Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- A federal judge is considering whether a union organizing effort should continue among Minnesota’s home childcare workers.

Judge Michael Davis Thursday heard the state defend the law and opponents say the unionization movement should be halted.

The 2013 Legislature passed and Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation to allow nearly 13,000 Minnesotans who host day cares in their homes, and receive state subsidies, to join unions. Supporters said that would give the childcare workers more say when the state adopts new rules and decides how much to pay.

But Republicans, such as Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, say that private businesses such as childcare providers should not be part of unions.

“This court hearing is the first step to remedy the injustice done by Democrats in St. Paul to the hardworking childcare providers and parents of Minnesota,” Franson said. “As a former childcare provider, I know firsthand we don’t need big union bosses increasing costs and creating fewer options for the care of our precious children.”

Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said he supports childcare providers who are fighting the new law “in arguing that they are private business owners, not public employees. Gov. Mark Dayton and Democrat legislators chose to ignore this fact when they sided with union bosses in trying to force unionization.”

Dayton said that a judge who overturned his attempt to allow unionization on his own said the decision should be up to the Legislature. The Legislature, dominated by Democrats, opted to follow Dayton’s lead and allow unionization.

“There is a lot of right wing money from all over the country that is going into this fight,” Dayton said.

That money is fighting the objective of giving people the right “to decide for themselves,” he said.

Forum News Service

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