For Immediate Release
Gov. Wolf Only One NOT Calling Home Care Action Unionization
Unionization Not a Secret to Self-Described Home Care Union
April 20, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Governor Wolf insists his executive order does not pave the way for unionizing home care workers, but don’t tell that to United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania (UHWP)—a self-described union backed by the SEIU and AFSCME. It sent out mailers to home care workers over the weekend urging them to join their union—and encouraging home care workers to sign up for payroll deduction of their union dues.
The stealth union election started with secret ballots sent to home care workers across the state. They’ll be counted Thursday unless a court orders an injunction to halt the move. The election was made possible by Wolf’s February executive order, yet his administration has repeatedly denied that unionization is happening at all.
This mailer sent to home care workers urging a vote for the UHWP states point-blank, “Today, consumer-directed home care workers in Pennsylvania have the opportunity to build a strong union in our state.”
After asking workers to join the union, the mailer also includes a “membership dues check-off authorization” asking members to send 2 percent of their earnings to the UHWP:
Another mailer highlights “a special message about our union election” and urges home care attendants to get involved “by forming our union.” (Emphasis added)
“These mailers cannot be misconstrued: the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania, a proxy of the SEIU and AFSCME, is trying to unionize more than 20,000 home care workers through an election happening now,” commented Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation. “Does the union have it wrong or is the Wolf administration deliberately misleading the public to advance causes favored by some of his top political contributors?”
After being confronted by a UHWP ballot last week, Wolf administration spokesman Jeff Sheridan did not mince words, saying to the Post-Gazette, “It’s not a union ballot. It’s just not. They’re wrong.” Sheridan also claimed Wolf’s order, “It doesn’t allow them to organize.”
“In the face of all this evidence, it’s stunning that the Wolf administration continues to deny reality. Despite advocating for openness and transparency, the Wolf administration is doing its best to pull the wool over our eyes to reward a campaign contributor. This truly is politics at its worst.
“It’s telling that in the same mailer asking for votes, the union requests automatic payroll deductions from home care workers’ salaries. These workers are paid through Medicaid, meaning millions of public dollars intended for the care of disabled Pennsylvanians would be skimmed from paychecks and sent to union leaders if the vote is successful.
“This is about Gov. Wolf rewarding his campaign contributors with a stealth unionization scheme that will net them millions in additional union dues.”
See Commonwealth Foundation’s latest research on the home care unionization effort for more details.
Nathan Benefield is available for comment. Please contact us at 717-671-1901 to schedule an interview.
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