Franson proposes bill to block union efforts

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 20, 2012 - 11:33 AM
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Rep. Mary Franson

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State Rep. Mary Franson is trying to head off new unionization efforts with a proposal to block groups from forcing independent contractors to join a union.

The Alexandria Republican said DFL Gov. Mark Dayton wants to allow labor leaders to unionize home child-care providers and in-home health assistants as payback for political support.

"Dayton is helping his union allies at the expense of family care providers," Franson said. "His efforts are nothing but a raw political and financial power grab, and I won't stand for it."

The governor does not believe anybody should be forced to unionize, a spokeswoman said.

"Governor Dayton believes it is the right of individuals to vote on whether or not to form a union; holding an election is the American way of resolving differences in a group," said Katharine Tinucci, a Dayton spokeswoman.

Dayton signed an executive order last year calling for a unionization vote for state-subsidized home child-care providers, which a judge threw out after union opponents filed a lawsuit.

Tinucci noted that even if child-care workers had voted to form a union, no individual would have been forced to join.

Franson's proposal is not likely to get far in the Legislature. Starting in January, Democrats take over control the House and Senate and are not expected to embrace proposals to limit unions. It's also not clear whether Franson's proposal has broader support among GOP members.

Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044

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