Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Home Care Workers & ?

Labor Notes journalist Samantha Winslow explains that in another attack on the rights of workers to collectively bargain for higher wages and decent benefits, a divided Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn (made by 5 men over the objections of the 3 women justices and one man) made it much harder for home healthcare workers to form and sustain their union. This court-made law creates new obstacles for predominantly female home healthcare workers to build real power for themselves—the kind of power that could lead to the job security and decent wages they deserve. While the case didn’t involve Vermont directly, it deals with unionized home health care workers in Illinois, a clause in a Vermont contract is based on a similar notion that the high court ruled unconstitutional. Amanda Sheppard, Vermont home care worker and union activist, says Vermont’s home health care workers, who recently entered their first contract period, and child care providers, who are in early stages of organizing, intend to forge ahead meeting the challenges by deeper organizing of their co-workers.