Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 925, which forcefully represents 12,000 family childcare providers in Washington State, is desperate to keep workers’ rights information out of the hands of its members. So desperate, in fact, that when SEIU 925 learned the Freedom Foundation acquired a list of family childcare providers from the Washington Department of Early Learning (DEL), it sued the DEL and the Freedom Foundation. SEIU 925 wanted to prevent the Freedom Foundation from using the information to notify members of their rights.
Of course, as the Freedom Foundation points out, the union did not have any real grounds for its lawsuit. The Public Records Act “does not contain a provision giving a party a right to sue after a disclosure of public records.” But, out of desperation, SEIU 925 claimed that the disclosure of the records posed a “danger to children,” “even though there has never even been a single case of harm to a child as a result of a public records request.”
Well, on Friday, the court ruled against SEIU 925. It found that the union “could not bring a lawsuit for an injunction after a disclosure of public records. And just in case SEIU appeals (and you can count on it), the court ruled against all of SEIU’s other arguments too.”
The court’s ruling delivered a significant blow to SEIU affiliates. The Freedom Foundation,
“These cases are extremely important to the unions because they seek exclusive access to nearly 50,000 total partial public employees who receive subsidies for providing some kind of healthcare or childcare in Washington.
“SEIU 775 forcibly represents nearly 33,000 home healthcare providers and brings in nearly $20 million a year from them. SEIU 925 forcibly represents nearly 12,000 family childcare providers and rakes in $8 million a year from them.
“An individual or group with the names and contact information of these providers can open these providers to a message different from what the unions spew out — which, of course, only presents the union in a positive light…
“In the case of the Freedom Foundation, we merely want to inform providers of their constitutional right to not pay union fees if they so desire.”
As Shift has reported, local SEIU branches in Washington State have employed quite a lot of sneaky tricks to prevent union members from finding out their constitutional rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that “it was unconstitutional for individual home health care providers to be forced to pay union dues or fees against their will” (Harris v. Quinn). The court’s ruling on Friday is a step closer to ensuring SEIU does not succeed in its attempt to hide the truth.