Victory for Illinois Home Healthcare Workers as Federal Judge Rejects Major Attack on the Rights of Working People

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

A federal judge in Chicago has handed a major victory to Illinois home healthcare workers who are longstanding members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois by rejecting the union-busting efforts by so-called “right to work” forces whose goal is to weaken the voices of workers on the job. U.S. District Judge Manish Shah, recommended to the bench by Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, ruled Tuesday against class certification sought by the radical National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in a case involving state home care workers. So-called “right to work” forces sought to show that state workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Illinois were owed damages in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Harris v. Quinn ruling. But in his ruling Tuesday, the judge noted that many of the home care workers that were sought to be included in a class strongly supported the union and were distressed at the damages that would be caused by the lawsuit.

What’s more, the judge found that the anti-union views of the plaintiffs backed by the “right to work” foundation made them unsuitable representatives of a class of home care workers, writing that, “a class representative who wants to undermine the union is not likely to be a suitable representative for a group who have no such hostility.” Said Terri Harkin, an SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President: “Workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Illinois value their voice on how to improve their work and improve the care they deliver to clients/consumers. The despicable efforts by the anti-labor Right to Work Foundation to strip them of dignity and rights are a shameful attack on a workforce comprising mostly women and especially women of color. Our fight for worker and racial justice is far from over but we regard Tuesday’s ruling as a major victory in the fight to defend a union movement now so under attack here in Illinois and across this country, funded by the deep pockets and dark money of corporate special interests.”

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