The following is written by Keith Kelleher, founder and president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, and an International Vice-President of SEIU.
Earlier this summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court weakened labor protections for 26,000 home care providers in Illinois, most analysts characterized the decision as a dire portent for unions representing low-wage workers. So here's what happened next: The day after the ruling in Harris v. Quinn, those 26,000 home care providers began earning the latest in a series of wage increases their union had collectively bargained on their behalf.
Just like the wages they fought so hard to increase during the past 30 years — wages that were once an unconscionable $1 an hour -- these home care workers will not be held down by the Supreme Court. In fact, this year alone, our union, which includes the low wage, mostly female workers penalized by the court ruling, added 10,000 home care personal assistants to our membership.
We did it the same way we built home care unions three decades ago — by organizing. Read more »