Rep. Franson offers proposal to limit unionization

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  • December 19, 2012 - 8:52 PM

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 childcare 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 childcare 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 called the unionization effort a “money laundering scheme” to divert taxpayer money through at-home daycares and home healthcare providers back to unions, which typically support Democrats.

The children, the sick and the elderly “don’t deserve to be caught up in a money laundering scheme,” Franson said.

Union leaders said legislators like Franson have spent years cutting their wages and making it harder for them to make a fair living.

“We need to join together as a union to protect ourselves from politicians like Mary Franson," said Lisa Thompson, president of Child Care Providers Together/AFSCME. "They’ve cut our pay. They’ve eliminated quality improvement grants for our profession. And they’ve ignored the 7,000 parents who are waiting for child care so they can go to work.”

To see the proposal or sign a petition supporting the idea, check here.

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.


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