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Did SEIU Even Have a Majority Before Blagojevich Forced Unionization?

Illinois Policy Institute 29 January 2014 One Comment

New information from an Illinois state agency raises questions about whether the state was right to make home health care workers eligible for unionization, a case now before the Supreme Court: It is not clear that the state ever properly verified the vote that first organized the workers.

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In a Dec. 12 letter, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services conceded it could not produce any documentation showing that it had authenticated the union’s 2003 claim that it had the workers’ majority support.

Nor was the state able to provide any after follow-up inquires by the Washington Examiner.

The workers, who mostly care for physically disabled family members in their home and are paid under a state-run Medicaid program, have been under an exclusive representation contract with the Service Employees International Union since 2003.

Matthew Sebek, the AG’s public access counselor, responded that “due to the age of the records and files at issue, we are unable to determine with any degree of certainty which records may have” answered IPI’s request.

That certainly sounds like they were saying they could not find any documents that authenticated the 2003 vote. CMS spokeswoman Alka Nayyar told the Examiner in an email Friday that interpretation was “not accurate.”

However, the only document Nayyar could point to that showed her agency had authenticated the vote was a March 11, 2003, letter from SEIU itself claiming it had majority support. Furthermore, the evidence the union enclosed in the letter — supposedly cards signed by the individual workers — was “exempt from disclosure under Illinois law” and therefore not available.

Read more at the Illinois Policy Institute

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