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Federal judge hears case on unionization of child care workers

News Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
Federal judge hears case on unionization of child care workers
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

ST. PAUL - A federal appeals court judge listened to arguments Thursday in a lawsuit accusing Minnesota officials of forcing unionization on some child care workers.

It is not known when Judge Michael Davis will issue his decision.

The lawsuit's roots stretch back a couple of years to when Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton unilaterally set up a process to allow child care providers who get state subsidies to join unions. A judge ruled that was an illegal action for the governor, but the Legislature could do it.

Once the Legislature became Democratic controlled, it passed a similar provision, with supporters saying it would give child care providers better leverage when dealing with the state.

“Like strong women before us, we won the right to vote for a union," said Clarissa Johnston, a pro-union child care provider from Mounds View. "We won’t let right-wing extremists rob us of our rights

Republican Rep. Mary Franson of Alexandria said she fears child care workers would be influenced by "union bosses."

"As a former childcare provider, I know that forced unionization will only increase costs and create fewer options for working moms and dads,” Franson said.

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