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8th Cir. Temporarily Blocks Minn. Child-Care Provider Union Law

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on September 26, 2013 3:58 PM

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an injunction to temporarily block a Minnesota law authorizing child-care providers to unionize.

The decision is a victory for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing Minnesota providers who oppose unionization.

But the decision hasn't seemed to faze proponents of the law, who are chalking up the injunction to a "temporary roadblock," reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Child-Care Provider Union Battle

Last spring, Minnesota's state legislature passed a law allowing in-home child-care providers and personal care attendants to vote on forming a union, reports the Twin Cities' KMSP-TV.

Two lawsuits were filed to block the law, and both suits were dismissed by U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, according to The Associated Press.

Bill Messenger, the attorney for the providers, filed an appeal. His clients claim the law violates their rights under the First Amendment.

The Eighth Circuit's injunction will delay the law from going into effect as it considers the merits of the case.

The court granted the injunction pending a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a similar case from Illinois.

The injunction only blocks the unionization of child-care providers and does not affect personal care attendants, who are covered by the same law, reports the Pioneer Press.

'Full Steam Ahead'

Though a union election was not slated for the immediate future, organizers are in the process of contacting the roughly 13,000 providers covered by the proposed union.

Jennifer Munt, spokeswoman for AFSCME Council 5, which is attempting to organize the providers, called the court's order "a one-sentence decision that has nothing to do with the merits of the case," reports the Pioneer Press.

"We are moving full-speed ahead because child care providers want a union," Munt said.

We'll just have to stay tuned to see where this heated labor union legal battle ends.

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