Public Unions

Former Labor Official Accuses Union of Unethical Practices

Too much creativity in padding the membership rolls


A key founder and vice-president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local attempting to unionize licensed child-care providers has resigned, demanded her card check back and submitted testimony for a Monday legislative hearing criticizing union organizers of using "unethical tactics" to obtain votes.

Reached by phone, AFSCME Local 3400 President Lisa Thompson declined comment on the criticism leveled by her former top deputy, who's still featured in a leadership photo on the Facebook page of Minnesota Child Care Providers Together.

The defection of Kathy Stevens, a licensed child care provider in Crow Wing County and life-long union supporter, offers unusual behind-the-scenes insight to the controversial drive to unionize 11,000 licensed child-care providers and small business owners. At stake?  Whether licensed providers, some of whom receive state subsidies for needy children, will have union representation with dues deducted from their Child Care Assistance Program payments.