Two bills on the Illinois governor’s desk could give the Service Employees International Union a captive audience to increase its membership.

National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said the bills, which would require the training of home- and child-care workers, are the union’s workaround of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. In 2014 the high court ruled forced unionization of home care workers was unconstitutional.

“What happens here is the state certifies the SEIU as kind of this official trainer of these people and they get these people in a room and they get them to sign all this paperwork. And of course one of the pieces of paperwork, and one of the strongly presented arguments, is that you join in this union and you sign all this paperwork and then they can compel you to pay these fees,” Mix said.    

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Mix said that could be a Trojan horse for the union to pitch membership to a captive audience.

“You’ve got to go through this training in order to participate in the Illinois program and now that we’re the people that are responsible for getting you into this training and getting you through it, we’re also going to encourage you, quote, unquote -- I’m using fingers here -- to pay fees to us as well,” Mix said.

Mix said he’s seen this pop up in other states and has gotten more questions about it from across the country.

The measures also would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for home- and child-care workers, something the governor’s office said combined could cost taxpayers $87 million a year.

Messages seeking comment from SEIU were not returned.


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