Judge stops Dayton child care unionization vote

Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan to let day care providers vote on unionization was put on time out today, when Ramsey County District Judge Dale Lindman issued a temporary restraining order stopping the vote that was supposed to start this week.

Dayton had issued an executive order calling for 4,000 child care workers in the state subsidy program to vote yes or no on a union, with a mail ballot that was scheduled to be mailed Tuesday.

Opponents, including many of those day care workers and Republican legislative leaders, went to court claiming the governor went too far in calling the election on his own. The judge agreed.

He ruled against the vote soon after a morning court hearing, in which Lindman asked why the governor didn’t just ask the Legislature to authorize the vote, the Strib reports.

That might come next, although Dayton has noted that opposition to the vote seems to be part of an anti-union sentiment and, it seems, such a bill might be tough to get through the Republican-led Legislature.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 12/06/2011 - 08:41 am.

    So in other words, if a group of workers wants to vote on joining a union, they can’t just get management’s OK, they have to ask for the shareholders to vote too? This is right up there with Scott Walker’s idea to require “protest permits” at $50/hour. Please, Republican Party legislature, can we vote to have a union? Can we please have a permit to protest?

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/06/2011 - 09:01 am.

    @#1: Self-employed daycare operators who happen to accept state reimbursement for some of the children in their care aren’t simply a group of workers seeking management’s OK. They’re independent business owners. I can’t help but wonder what their position would be on their employees, if any, organizing.

    If local gas station owners wanted to combine to set prices, we’d call it illegal. How is this different?

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/06/2011 - 09:44 am.

    I almost choked on my cookie yesterday when Dayton said he was pleased the judge found nothing illegal with his order…

    Someone had better check his Kombucha.

  4. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 12/06/2011 - 02:46 pm.

    @#2: I hadn’t heard that anyone was claiming that the formation of this union would violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Maybe that’s an issue and maybe not. The reporting on this which I’ve only been following here and on MPR hasn’t said anything about antitrust. My impression was/is that these are not day care owners but day care workers who for some reason need to have permission to have a vote to join a union. So, OK, maybe we need more facts.

    I will say though that calling individuals “independent business owners” to apply antitrust laws against labor is an old ploy which was used with regularity 100 years ago. Since then, with modern labor laws, the antitrust laws don’t apply to union organizing or collective bargaining.

  5. Submitted by Dan McGrath on 12/09/2011 - 01:50 pm.

    “My impression was/is that these are not day care owners but day care workers who for some reason need to have permission to have a vote to join a union. So, OK, maybe we need more facts.”

    Therein lies the rub. This writer isn’t being straight with MinnPost’s readers. This article is misleading.

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