News Story

Government Incompetence At Its Worst – The Tragedy of the Forced Unionization of Home Health Care Workers

Mackinac Center senior investigative analyst Anne Schieber has a frightening new video about the continued fleecing of home health care workers ensnared in an ongoing forced unionization scheme.

At its best, government exists to protect the rights of its citizens: To establish a rule of law that applies equally to everyone and have clear rules that are easily known and followed. This scheme adheres to none of those principles.

In documenting the complex twists-and-turns of the “dues skim,” Schieber’s video truly captures government breech of trust at its worst.

The backers of the forced unionization claim they sent voting ballots to 56,000 “employees,” but more than 80 percent did not vote. Sixty-seven percent of those who were unionized through the scheme are actually caring for disabled relatives, indirectly compensated by Medicaid, according to the Michigan Quality Community Care Council. Yet the ballot that was sent applies to "employees," with no mention of family members.

“Why are they taking money from us for taking care of our kids in the form of union dues?” Robert Haynes, a retired Detroit police officer who looks after his two adult children with cerebral palsy asked in the video.

The scheme goes on despite the fact that the so-called employer created to enable the stealth unionization, the Michigan Quality Community Care Council, has been defunded by the legislature. Its current address is the same Detroit building that houses the SEIU — the same union collecting the skimmed dues. No one from the group returns phone calls.

Last June the Michigan House passed House Bill 4003 to end the forced unionization. But the Michigan Senate, with a historic 26-12 Republican majority, continues to sit on its hands, failing to pass the bill while the SEIU takes money from special needs children and adults.

Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, received $5,000 from the SEIU on the day the bill to end the “forced unionization” arrived in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the origins of the scheme have been connected to a former ACORN organizer. And the dues keep flowing: More than $29 million has been taken from the pockets of hardworking parents and put in to the coffers of the SEIU to be used as they wish.

“They’re charging us dues and we’re getting no benefits,” said Patricia Haynes, Robert’s wife.

It is impossible to conclude this scheme benefits the people Michigan in any way. It is simply indefensible.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.