Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Michigan Union Collapse : SEIU membership fell 80% in a year once it wasn't coerced.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
The conceit of the modern union movement is that workers would be clamoring to join if the rules weren't rigged in favor of employers. The reality is closer to the opposite. Witness what happened in Michigan, where new data show that workers fled the Service Employees International Union Healthcare affiliate when their membership was no longer coerced.

Democrats gave the SEIU a huge membership gift in 2005 when then-Governor Jennifer Granholm allowed more than 40,000 home-care workers to be unionized. The majority of the workers were independent contractors or family members who care for disabled relatives at home. But because the workers received Medicaid subsidies, they were suddenly reclassified as "public" employees for the purposes of unionization.

In early 2005, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission set a vote-by-mail election for home-care workers. According to the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, of a total of some 41,000 workers who could join the new collective-bargaining unit, there were 6,949 votes to join the SEIU and 1,007 opposed to the unionization. The union did a victory dance and began collecting dues.

Then in 2012 Michigan state lawmakers passed legislation that excluded home-care workers from the state's definition of public employees. The bottom has since fallen out of SEIU Healthcare's membership. According to reports filed with the Department of Labor, in 2012 SEIU Healthcare Michigan reported 55,265 members. In 2013 the number fell to 10,918, a loss of 44,347 union members, or about 80%.
For a look at SEIU's social justice outreach to Al Capone, click on this.