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Minnesota Home Health Workers Move to Union Vote

July 11, 2014
Despite the recent Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn (see WICs article "Supreme Court Sides Against Unions in IL", July 7, 2014), which held that health care workers in Illinois couldn't be compelled to pay union dues, similar workers in Minnesota are moving ahead with a union election. Union organizers say that the vote will be the largest of its kind in state history. Out of the more than 26,000 workers who are eligible to vote in the union election in the state, approximately 9,000 cards were delivered to the state Bureau of Mediation Services, which is in excess of the thirty percent required to trigger an election. 
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spearheaded the organization effort in Minnesota. Though the Harris case means that home health workers may not be compelled to pay dues, even when they benefit from union negotiations, the case does not prohibit voluntary participation in a union. Critics of the actions in Minnesota say that moving towards unionization could have a dampening effect on people who simpley want to take care of their fmaily or loved ones. 
The specific timetable for voting has not been set, but a schedule should be announced within the week.