Cullen Opposes Forced Union Dues
Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Center Calls on State to Immediately Suspend Unconstitutional 2013 Law
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Invalidates 2013
Based on today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Harris v Quinn case, which legal experts believe invalidates the 2013
Rhode Island law that allowed for the forced payment of fees to unions by home childcare providers, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity is calling on the State, the State Labor Relations
Board (SLRB), and all statewide candidates in 2014 to act decisively and swiftly to ensure that taxpayer dollars intended for the care of children, which are unconstitutionally slated to be diverted into
union coffers, remain with the providers.
In order to avoid a legal morass and the costs of a potential lawsuit, as projected by the Center last year, and with area
unions publicly stating that it is their plan to force unionization upon even more independent business owners and contractors in the Ocean State, the Center recommends that clear, decisive
administrative and legislative action be taken as soon as possible. Touting it as a major victory for small business, the Center believes today's decision will "stop cold" any further
attempt by organized labor to compel other independent contractors and small business owners to pay union fees.
"For these very reasons, last fall our Center petitioned the SLRB and the SEIU to hold off on this unionization process
until the Harris case was decided. But they forged ahead without concern for anybody's interest but their own," said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. "As our Center also warned, this
entire process has been an unconstitutional waste of time and money that violates these providers' first amendment rights."
The Center is calling on 2014 gubernatorial and General Assembly candidates to weigh in on how they will approach potential
legislation in 2015 that would permanently undo the now unconstitutional law (H5946) that passed the Rhode Island's General Assembly in 2013.
In the meantime, the Center is calling on Rhode Island's SLRB to invalidate the results of the October 2013 SEIU election
that was based on the now unconstitutional law; and upon the state to suspend all ongoing contract negotiations with the SEIU for these independent contractors, to ensure that no professional is forced
to pay union dues or fair-share fees, to prohibit any possibility of state involvement in the collection of related dues, and to ensure that no taxpayer dollars will be used in defense of any subsequent
Further, the Center calls upon Attorney General Kilmartin to issue an opinion as to whether or not the administration as the
legal authority to temporarily suspend the 2013 state law that today's U.S. Supreme Court indirectly ruled is not constitutional.
The Center may also seek to initiate injunctive relief against the state and the SEIU labor union, on behalf of home childcare
providers, because the existing law illegally treats such business owners as public employees.
In 2013, the Center published a report highlighting concerns that unionization may cause for taxpayers, service providers, and
other independent business owners. All related information can be viewed on the Center's website at www.RIFreedom.org.