Sand in the Machinery? Motions Heard in New Unionization Suit Today

Federal Judge Michael Davis today heard initial arguments in two lawsuits aimed at halting the forced unionization of childcare providers in Minnesota.

Two groups of plaintiffs filed two lawsuits, each making separate arguments as to why the newly passed unionization law should be struck down. In the first case heard, Saville, et-al v. Dayton, et-al, plaintiffs were represented by local attorney Doug Seaton, who also represented childcare providers in 2011 when they successfully sued to halt governor Dayton’s executive order calling for a unionization election among the self-employed day care operators.  Childcare Freedom financially supported that lawsuit and is raising money for the current suit.


The essence of the case is simply that Federal labor law prohibits business owners and employers from engaging in collective action (like unionizing). Federal law preempts state statutes and on that basis, the unionization law should be struck down.

In the second case, a different group of providers were represented by attorney Bill Messinger from the National Right to Work Foundation. That suit rests primarily on compelled membership in and financial obligation to an association (the union) by independent business owners being a violation of the First Amendment protections of freedom of association.

Both suits ask the court for a preliminary injunction to halt unionization efforts while the case is being decided.

Governor Dayton, though the Attorney General’s Office, filed motions to dismiss both lawsuits. In a statement, Dayton belittled the efforts of childcare providers to defend themselves from unwanted representation by a government employee union, comparing their lawsuits to “throwing little fits” and “throwing sand into the machinery.”

Before this morning’s hearing, the governor continued to press his verbal attack on daycare providers, calling the long-embattled independent providers, “right wing extremists,” for not wanting to become classified as employees of the state, nor be compelled to pay the government employee union, AFSCME for representation they don’t desire.

Judge Davis said he expects to rule on motions in both cases quickly.

Take Action: Help “throw sand in the machinery” of unjust government power that’s being directed at small businesswomen with a contribution towards funding the lawsuit against forced union representation. Click here to donate:

Cross-posted and comments welcome at Childcare Freedom.