A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

A fear that the "stealth unionization" of home-based day care workers could just be the start of a bigger effort was acknowledged in court on Tuesday by a union lawyer.

Patrick Wright, senior legal counsel for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, had said months ago that doctors that accept Medicaid, grocers that take food stamps and landlords that take housing assistance could be the next groups targeted in state efforts to unionize anyone who gets state subsidies.

The Mackinac Center has a lawsuit that it has appealed to the state Supreme Court about the state unionizing roughly 40,000 home-based day care workers. The state also unionized another 40,000 home workers for elderly and disabled. Both groups were unionized because they accepted state subsidies for low-income clients.

The issue came up in court when the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation was in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Tuesday to keep its suit from being dismissed. The National Right to Work is representing home-based day care workers on the national level.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker asked union lawyer John West if the state could unionize doctors in a similar way to the day care workers if the doctors accepted Medicaid.

West, a Washington, D.C., lawyer, told the judge at first it was a "slippery slope."

But shortly later, West told the judge that unionization of any group that accepted state subsidies would be within the state's authority if it had "added value" to the state or the public's interest.

West said if the state could show added "value," then "that could be imposed on anyone."

Jonker didn't dismiss the suit.

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See also:

Deadline Looming: Day Care Providers Could Lose State Subsidies

Forced Unionization: Big Labor's Last Stand?

Stealth Unionization Plot Survives Another Attempt to Kill It 

Senate Seeks Another Way to Kill Forced Unionization of Child Care Providers

'No Comment' from Day Care Union Lawyer on E-Mails, Senate Hearing

E-mails Reveal Child Care Union All About the Money

Zombie State Agency Finally Talks to Lawmakers

Axed State Agency Mysteriously Operational 

Stealth Unionization: Action and Inaction

State Reps Joining Day Care Union Case

Secretive State Department Told to Fess Up to Taxpayers

State Agency That Had Funds Cut by Legislature Says Future Looks Bright

The Saga of Forced Unionization

Minority Rules: Most Members of Child Care Union Didn't Vote Themselves In

Axed State Agency Mysteriously Operational

GOP Senators, SEIU Taxpayer Giveaways, Campaign Cash and More, OH MY!

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