Judge hears childcare case
ST. PAUL - A federal appeals court judge listened to arguments Thursday in a lawsuit accusing Minnesota officials of forcing unionization on some childcare 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 childcare 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 childcare 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 childcare 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.