Earlier I posted a link to an amusing piece from the Mackinac Institute canvassing the Nanny-knows-best advice contained in many State of Michigan publications and web sites.
This link is more serious and, legally speaking, truly bizarre.
The State of Michigan created a shell corporation for the sole purpose of unionizing self-employed daycare owners throughout the state. Some state bureaucracy partnered with the apparently randomly chosen Mott Community College and declared this new entity to be the "employer" of all of the state's licensed daycare owners, including all the ladies who run daycare centers out of their own homes. By doing so, the State of Michigan created the possibility of having all these "employees" unionize against the employer. Since evidently there is no quorum requirement for union votes, a vote of only a minority of the newly minted "employees" was sufficient to create a new union, and now the women running daycare out of their homes are being charged union dues, much to their own surprise.
How is this possible, you ask? Well, evidently the state gives money to low-income families to subsidize their daycare in part. It is from these checks that the new union dues are being deducted. Realize, please, the insanity of this: If accepting money that the state gives to someone for a partial subsidy of a service allows you to be declared an employee of the State (and Mott Community College, whatever that has to do with anything), then every store owner that accepts WIC or food stamps could wake up one morning and find that he has been made an employee of the state's shell company without his own knowledge or consent. Tellingly, if this sort of thing is legally possible, without even any special legislative action, it would also presumably apply to school principals and teachers at schools that accept tuition vouchers. By this principle, the schools could be effectively turned into state entities instantaneously and their employees into state employees--a frightening thought.
What exactly the State of Michigan gets out of this, other than the sheer heady sense of power in knowing that it can force self-employed small-business owners to be its employees without their consent or the consent of their elected representatives, is still a bit of a mystery to me. I can only guess that somehow the State of Michigan is profiting from the union dues and that the state is behind both the new "employer" and in the new "union," but that is the purest conjecture.
In any event, this obviously must not be left unchallenged. The Mackinac Institute has taken on the case with its new legal defense team, and I have some hope that our state courts will strike this move down for the naked and illegal power play that it is.