Not only has Big Government gotten very intrusive
in our lives, but Big Labor has joined it in making
invasive mischief --- intruding into home life.
Consider a story from Illinois, where Pam Harris,
whose son suffers from a debilitating disease which
requires around-the-clock care and has chosen his
mother to be his caregiver, was informed by the SEIU
(Service Employees International Union) that as the
caregiver to her son, and with them receiving
payments from the state's medical coverage program
(your faithful Peasant doesn't know whether or not
they are or were also receiving payments from
Medicare of Medicaid), Illinois law required Harris
to pay some of the funds received for union
membership dues, in this case to the SEIU.
Never mind the fact that Harris is not an employee
of any health care organization; in fact she stays
home so that she can give her ailing son the con-
stant care he needs. But as far as the SEIU and
their chums in the Illinois state government is
concerned, this somehow makes Harris a state
health care employee in a big union shop state,
therefore the demand for union dues.
Not taking this lying down, Harris objected to
this political alchemy on the grounds that the
state of Illinois was violating her First Amendment
right of free association and to petition the govern-
ment for redress of grievances, and promptly sued.
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court,
which ruled 5-4 in Harris' favor. Justice Samuel
Alito, one of the five, drew a distinction between
traditional public employees and what he termed
"partial public employees" such as Harris, whom the
state pays to care for their own children. Personally,
I do not know how or why Harris should be at all
considered a public employee, even though her
own son has asked her to be his caregiver; she is
family, after all, and her son picked her over anyone
he could have hired from an agency or perhaps a
freelance nurse. The money they are getting is badly
needed, as Harris cannot earn money outside the home
because of her son's considerable care needs.
But Alioto and four of his fellow Supremes thus
ruled that Harris and others in her situation shall be
exempted from regulations that force them to pay
union dues against their will.
This is a tremendous victory for Pam Harris and her
son, as well as for others like them, because not only
are their constitutionally guaranteed right of free
association affirmed and protected, but they can thus
spend whatever payments they receive from the state
and/or federal governments on medical items for their
ailing relatives without having to scrimp on their
purchases in order to pay tribute to a grasping, clutching,
leeching union desperate for revenue as their disenchanted
rank and file exit, taking their dues monies with them.
All Big Labor has left to try to continue on with are
coercive measures to force workers to join and to
remain in their thrall.
And the union bosses wonder why unions have fallen out
of favor with the American public. The answer to their
question can be found in any mirror, if only they would
have the guts to take a peek.