A national workers’ rights group said taxpayers should care about a case seeking class-action status for home health workers because the fight is over tax money that should go to the employees, not to a private lobbying group.
The case stems from the U.S. Supreme Court case Harris v. Quinn, which found home care workers were improperly forced into the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois by a scheme signed onto by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Forced dues were taken from approximately 80,000 home care workers over the span of several years. Approximately $32 million taken by the union for dues is at stake.
National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said the home health care workers who were forced to pay dues to SEIU Healthcare Illinois should get their money back.
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Mix said taxpayers should care because “this is a significant pile of money that has been going to a private organization that is out there redressing government and speaking, quote, un-quote, on behalf of these people for policies that many taxpayers probably wouldn't support.”
Mix said his organization filed an appeal last week to the 7th Circuit after a lower court rejected class-action status for the home care workers.
“And if anyone wants to leave it with the union, they should be able to opt out of the class action and let the union keep their money,” Mix said. “But there’s no way that people that never authorized this or never knew about it in some cases should be compelled to have that money taken from them and not be able to get it back.”
Calls seeking comment from SEIU Healthcare Illinois were not immediately returned.