A group of 11 child care providers is filing a lawsuit today to try to stop a unionization vote next month.
The lawsuit claims Gov. Mark Dayton exceeded his authority when he ordered the vote among about 42-hundred state-subsidized child care providers. Two labor unions, SEIU and AFSCME Council 5, have been trying to organize providers throughout the state. But attorney Tom Revnew says the scheduled vote is unfair and unconstitutional, because it will exclude about 60-percent of Minnesota providers. Revnew also contends the vote will have an impact beyond the child care industry.
“If organized labor is allowed to unionize employers against their will through executive orders, and contrary to state and federal law, they will take other industries on one by one,” Revnew said.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are backed by a coalition of conservative-leaning groups, including the Minnesota Family Council, Minnesota Free Market Institute and Minnesota Majority.
Brian Elliott, executive director of SEIU-Minnesota State Council, says similar executive orders have already been upheld in more than a dozen other states, and he insists union membership, as well as union dues, will be voluntary.
Eric Lehto, organizing director for AFSCME Council 5, described the lawsuit as “frivolous.” He said the challenge is from “cheap-labor conservatives who oppose collective bargaining rights.”