MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge has refused to halt a drive to unionize thousands of Minnesota home day-care operators.
In a pair of rulings Sunday, Judge Michael Davis essentially agrees with state Solicitor General Alan Gilbert that the pair of lawsuits seeking to halt the unionization effort were filed prematurely. Davis dismissed both cases and refused to impose a preliminary injunction on a new law allowing the drive.
"I am very pleased that both lawsuits seeking to prevent child care providers from deciding for themselves whether or not to form a union have been dismissed by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court," said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in a written statement. "I believe that working men and women should have the right to vote on forming a union, and that the Court's decisions will permit such an election to be held."
Democrats who control the Legislature approved the union-organizing drive in May. The GOP has accused legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton of paying back union allies.
The proposed union would cover some 12,700 providers who take care of children subsidized by the state.
Dayton tried to call the union vote through executive order in 2011, but opponents won a state court order invalidating the move.
State Senator Dave Thompson, a Republican who has launched a campaign for governor, assailed the decision. ""It is sad that these independent business people must work through the courts to try and stop the impact of this damaging law. This is what happens when elected officials put political interests ahead of the people."
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