Home care workers in Minnesota are gearing up for what organizers say would be the largest union election vote in state history.
Workers and organizers with the Service Employees International Union delivered state officials 9,000 union cards signed by workers calling for the election, TwinCities.com reports. These cards represent nearly 35% of potential voters, as the proposed union would include 26,000 people.
If the Bureau of Mediation Services verifies that the union supporters have submitted valid cards from at least 30% of potential voters, then the state agency will notify workers of election terms and distribute ballots, the publication writes.
The petition comes after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that similar workers in Illinois would be exempt from having to join and pay union dues, therefore the union could not collect “fair share” payments from workers who did not want to join.
While the ruling doesn’t prevent Minnesota home care workers from trying to form a union, it will play a role if — and when — it is formed, according to Peter Rachleff, a former labor historian at Macalester College.
TwinCities.com writes: “The Supreme Court decision will have a clear impact on the operations of a union if it’s formed, Rachleff said. The lack of fair share dues could mean less money for the union to hire staff to handle grievances and negotiate collective bargaining agreements, he said.”
A 2013 Minnesota state law allows certain home care workers and some child care providers the chance to organize and collectively bargain in public employee unions, the article states.
To read the full TwinCities.com report, click here.
Written by Emily Study