News Story

Capitol Protesters Fined $500 Each For Trying To Storm Senate Chamber

Most of arrested right-to-work protesters had SEIU 'dues skim' connections

Seven people with ties to the SEIU Healthcare Michigan, the union affiliate involved with the home health care dues skim, each were fined $500 at hearings in Ingham County’s 54A District Court last month for their part in a protest in Lansing over the state's right-to-work law.

As part of a plea agreement, the SEIU Healthcare Michigan staff members were allowed to plead guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of "disorderly jostling" instead of the charges of "attempted resisting and obstructing police" to which they pled guilty earlier this year.

The charges stemmed from their actions on Dec. 6 at the State Capitol when they attempted to charge onto the Senate floor to disrupt discussions about giving workers the freedom to choose whether they want to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment. An eighth protester, Ida Sinclair-Williams, charged over the incident has not been tied to SEIU Healthcare Michigan.

One of the protesters arrested on Dec. 6 and fined recently was Joshua Kersting, the son of SEIU Healthcare Michigan President Marge Faville. The other six SEIU Healthcare Michigan staffers arrested and fined were: Chreda Troutman, Eric Noyes, Stephen Cousins, Brett Matthews, Scott Holiday, and Benjamin Wilkins.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan took more than $34 million from home-based caregivers in Michigan as the result of a forced unionization between 2006 and early 2013. The scheme was orchestrated when Jennifer Granholm was governor. 

At the time of the Capitol protests over the then-pending right-to-work bill, the forced unionization, also called the "home health care dues skim," was on its last legs, as the union was exhausting its final efforts to keep the scheme alive.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan did not respond to requests for comment.

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.