California

California Looking to Give Unions Private Workers' Phone Numbers, Addresses

Legislature aiming at a scary precedent.

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Even those observers of California state government who are aware of the degree to which the Democratic-controlled legislature is in the tank for public-sector unions might be shocked by the latest bill that's making its way to the governor's office.

Legislators are about to require that private-sector workers in the home-care industry provide a wide range of personal information—home address, email contact, cell-phone number—to any labor organization that wants it. Those unions would then be free, at their discretion, to pester these workers into joining the union.

The bill only affects one industry, but the precedent is clear. How long before an ever-expanding list of private workers in California are subject to union organizers showing up at their doorstep and contacting them on their private emails and cell phones? The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has already been able to unionize home healthcare workers receiving government payments to care for a loved one. Clearly, SEIU is expanding its horizons.

In fact, the bill apparently is such a priority to the Democratic leadership that Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) recently stacked the Human Services Committee with three new Democratic members to assure its passage. It's a highly unusual move to expand the size of a committee to assure passage of particular legislation.

Assembly Bill 1513 ostensibly is designed to improve the licensure and regulation of home-care organizations—companies that provide aides to the homes of sick, disabled or elderly people to help them with laundry, cooking, showers and other basic needs.

The state already requires aides to pass background checks, receive necessary training and register with the California Department of Social Services to help combat abuse. The aides must already provide their personal information to the state government. Clients can search an existing database to double-check the backgrounds of those who provide such work in their homes.

This new Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act claims to improve home health services by allowing "home care aides the opportunity to benefit from information, resources and more," according to Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose). But the real purpose is to let the bill's sponsor, SEIU, gain personal information for organizing purposes.

There's no need to speculate about the goal here. The previous version of the bill required employees to provide their personal information to the state, which would then provide the information "to a governmental or non-profit entity that provides training, educational classes, and other specified services" upon that entity's request.

The newly amended bill requires "a copy of a registered home care aide's name, mailing address, cellular telephone number, and email address on file with the department to be made available, upon request, to a labor organization." The labor unions would be free to use the information for "employee organizing, representation and assistance activities." That provides wide latitude with few restrictions.

The bill includes an "opt out" mechanism, but that doesn't offer much protection. A home-care worker would need to go through the trouble of trying to keep personal information out of the union's grasp. And we've seen the problems with such a system in the current union dues-paying system.

A 1977 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows public employees to opt out of paying those portions of their dues that are used for direct political purposes. But employees who want to opt out often complain about the difficult and convoluted process of doing so. Obviously, unions—and the state government—have no reason to make such a process easy.

This bill is nothing more than a union-organizing ploy. Again, the state government already has all the requisite personal information of those who provide home-care services. The public can search that information using an employee number. We're talking about private employees of private companies working for private people. This is different from the Medicaid-funded In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) system.

Legislators also have recently passed two bills, as I detailed for the California Policy Center, that provide public-sector unions with unfettered on-the-job access to teachers and other government workers in order to provide seminars about union membership. That legislation is a pre-emptive effort in case the U.S. Supreme Court, as some expect, strikes down mandatory union membership. A.B. 1513 is even more noxious because it gives unions a right to contact employees of private companies outside of the job site.

The bill also undermines a compromise that was hammered out between unions, legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in 2013. That's when the legislature passed the previous version of the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act to require the licensing and regulation of the private home-care industry. Unions had pushed for the inclusion of personal employee information back then, but concerns about privacy scuttled that idea.

Now they're back for the same thing again and are likely to get the bill through because of De Leon's committee-packing efforts. De Leon removed Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) and added Democratic Sens. Connie Leyva of Chino, Mike McGuire of Healdsburg and Anthony Portantino of La Cañada-Flintridge. Newman is facing a recall, so this takes him off of the hot seat on a controversial union vote in conservative-leaning Orange County.

Ironically, Democratic legislators often have tried to enhance the privacy of public employees with a variety of bills. Yet when it comes to private-sector employees, the Legislature is more than happy to let union organizers know exactly where they live—and even have access to their cell-phone numbers and email addresses.

"A.B. 1513 is clearly just a labor grab, and will do nothing more than boost unions' membership rolls and bottom line at the expense of home care aides and the frail elderly and disabled individuals they serve," said Trevor O'Neil, president of Colonial Home Care Services in Orange and co-chairman of the Home Care Association of America, California chapter. "Home care is an out-of-pocket expense, and any mandated increases to employee pay and benefits will result in higher prices for people who depend upon these services to remain in their homes."

That's for sure. But even worse—home-care workers could now be subject to unwanted visits from Nick the Union Organizer. And how long will it be before other unions follow this lead and coerce the legislature to hand over your personal information?

This column was first published by the California Policy Center.

NEXT: What CNN's Threat to Dox a Redditor Tells Us About the State of Journalism

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  1. Its like Taxifornia is trying to push people to leave the state.

    1. Some of us didn’t need such subtle nudging.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

      2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

    2. You’re against home healthcare workers registering with a governing body with the most basic of information? You must not love anyone who requires homecare. My parent’s used someone through a “trusted” onsite site and the woman was caught stealing jewelry from my dying grandma.

    3. You’re against home healthcare workers registering with a governing body with the most basic of information? You must not love anyone who requires homecare. My parent’s used someone through a “trusted” onsite site and the woman was caught stealing jewelry from my dying grandma.

      1. That’s not what the law requires. It requires private workers to give their private information to unions.

  2. I can’t believe there won’t be lawsuits and injunctions. It’s the sheer hypocrisy which startles me so much.

  3. Secede already!
    That will completely remove that pesky US Constitution.

  4. If non-union-loving employees are going to be forced to upchuck their personal data, so that union thugs can show up at their doorstep to threaten them, when they wish to decline their “protection” from the union… “Nice house ya got there, be a shame if anything bad happened to it”…

    Then can we the unwashed public PLEASE have the right to know exactly where each and every politician and cop and prosecutor and judge lives?

    1. That’s stupid. People aren’t unions. Duh.

      1. Well, let’s form a union!

        1. A more-perfect one at that!

  5. CNN, clearly, supports the state’s plan.

    Don’t want your info out? Don’t work. Amirite?

  6. In fact, the bill apparently is such a priority to the Democratic leadership that Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) recently stacked the Human Services Committee with three new Democratic members to assure its passage. It’s a highly unusual move to expand the size of a committee to assure passage of particular legislation.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt smiles in approval.

  7. Obviously the unions are just deeply considered about the possibility of voter fraud in certifying elections and need access to voter roll information.

    I’ve been told there’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about this, any anyone who objects is just in favor of voter fraud.

    1. I’ve been told there’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about this

      You say ‘this’ like the two scenarios are comparable. It leads me to surmise that you don’t understand english or fundamental logical concepts like data aggregation and privacy vs. anonymity.

    2. Silly Dragon. Everyone knows that intentions are all that matter. Republicans have bad intentions and unions have good intention. Everyone knows this. That’s why obtaining voter information is bad and giving information to unions is good. Intentions. Principles shminciples.

  8. Fuck, this is actually dangerous. Unions have a long history of using violence and threats to corral workers that don’t want to join. Handing over this personal information is essentially giving the unions a hit list. Surely this could be overturned in court for putting folks in danger. Opt out isn’t good enough. If someone is going to put my information in the hands of someone who could do me physical harm, then it needs to be at a bare minimum a opt in program.

    1. Fuck, this is actually dangerous. Unions Governments have a long history of using violence and threats to corral workers that don’t want to join. Handing over this personal information is essentially giving the unions government a hit list. Surely this could be overturned in court for putting folks in danger. Opt out isn’t good enough. If someone is going to put my information in the hands of someone who could do me physical harm, then it needs to be at a bare minimum a opt in program.

      In the People’s Republic Of California, the worker’s unions – as the representatives of the proletariat – are the supreme rulers. Not that I’d expect a 1%-er member of the bourgeoisie to recognize it, but your days are numbered, comrade. You and all your bloodsucker Jew buddies are on the list for liquidation.

  9. What’s the next step up from “Christ, these people are assholes”? Looking at Cali’s government, you just can’t get much plainer that they’re just a better-organized pack of thugs.

    1. they’re just a better-organized pack of thugs

      The word for that is actually “government.”

  10. The California legislature is aiming to set a scary precedent, making private information of private workers available to labor unions.

    I believe that’s already law here in Seattle.

    *googles*

    Ok, there is a law, but a judge has temporarily blocked it while a suit moves forward.

    The taxi and ride-hailing companies [uber, lift etc] would have had to give Local 117 a list of their drivers this week, with contact information. Now they will not, while the lawsuits proceed.

    1. Incredible. I couldn’t come up with something that twisted if I tried.

      1. Passed unanimously, no dissent, no argument against. Like everything else here.

  11. Sometimes I wish that Citizen’s United had been decided the other way, just so that we could finally outlaw unions.

  12. My high school best friend works in the pipe-fitters union. I constantly talk to him about the differences between private sector and public sector unions. He sort of gets it, but the brainwashing he gets is powerful. And I am essentially at the point that I hate unions altogether. If you have a skill that is in demand, why would you need a union? And if you dont, why should anyone have to pay you for doing shit?

    1. And I am essentially at the point that I hate unions altogether.

      Same here. And I don’t think there is much difference any more. Consider, for example, when the city contracts out some service. You think a non-union organzation has any shot?

      1. Depends on the city. Some cities put in union membership as a bid requirement, some put in stipulations on labor that make it easier to be union than not, and many cities (typically smaller ones) really don’t care whether you’re union or not as long you’re low bid.

    2. If you have a skill that is in demand, why would you need a union?

      There are mixed opinions on this, but in construction it isn’t totally nonsensical.

      It’s tricky to find a skilled individual and keep that individual on your permanent payroll, since you have to continuously bid new jobs in order to stay employed, and keeping a consistent work flow week after week can be very difficult, especially for small contractors. You can easily wind up losing people and having to gamble on new hires that you won’t know suck until they’re on the job not performing and you’re behind schedule and being sued.

      The union provides a consistent pool of trained labor. The union handles the benefits and a lot of labor-law compliance stuff. If you’re signatory, you just call up and they send workers when you need them, and they don’t send workers when you don’t.

      If you have a good relationship with your union, they send you good people, and will consistently send you the same people, since good teams like to stay together.

      The downside is that if you have a bad relationship with your union, they send you their shit workers who won’t/can’t do anything without being forced.

      To reiterate, this is in construction, which is a field with very particular labor dynamics. Teachers unions, on the contrary, I think are pretty much an unmitigated evil, and I’ve been a member of two of them (neither time was it willing membership, however).

  13. harassment and violence are the progressive ways.

  14. Want to bet this is a state that is nevertheless refusing to turn over voter registration info to Trump’s commission?.

    1. You realize that 41 states are refusing. That means a lot of Republicans think that commission is utter garbage. State’s rights? Personal privacy? The amount of info being requested is not needed to determine fraud.

      1. You do know they sell those lists to candidates and political parties, right dumbfuck. So yeah, fuck off.

  15. It’s almost as if the author was too lazy to read any content from the links. And them all you readers aren’t smart enough to think for yourself. Literal text from the bill: “the bill would prohibit a labor organization from using this information for any purpose other than employee organizing, representation, and assistance activities.” You mean, home healthcare workers should have to register with a governing body? I don’t want some random criminal taking care of my grandparents.

    1. “Literal text from the bill: “the bill would prohibit a labor organization from using this information for any purpose other than employee organizing, representation, and assistance activities.””

      And you accuse others of not thinking?
      Are you the steward in some local?
      Fuck off.

      1. Guess you don’t understand the concept of suing a union for illegal use of information. Guess we need to keep it simple for you. I mean the whole “opt-out” that is built in to the bill probably means nothing to you either. Dipshit.

        1. Tire slashing has a history in union organizing activities.

        2. Exactly why should a union have any expectation of receiving such information from the state government? What good purpose does it serve?

        3. Jim5467|7.8.17 @ 7:46AM|#
          “Guess you don’t understand the concept of suing a union for illegal use of information. Guess we need to keep it simple for you. I mean the whole “opt-out” that is built in to the bill probably means nothing to you either. Dipshit.”

          Folks, he’ll be here all week!
          Take your ‘well, they promise not to do anything bad!’ horseshit and fuck off, slaver.

    2. “I don’t want some random criminal taking care of my grandparents.”

      Is anybody forcing you to?

    3. Speak of lazy…

      “Assistance activities” can mean just about anything. Like promising not to destroy your personal property as long as you join the union…assistance, am I right? And the government already has all that information. And as to your comment about suing the unions, really?? So they are given my private information, they abuse that information (or me or my stuff) and I get to spend ten of thousands in court to make them say they’re sorry. Awesome! Where do I sign up…oh that’s right, the California Democratic Party already signed me up. Yay!

  16. California ?ber Alles by Dead Kennedys. it applied in 1978 and seems to work here too

    I am Governor Jerry Brown
    My aura smiles and never frowns
    Soon I will be president
    Carter power will soon go ‘way (fill in your favorite fascist politician)
    I will be F?hrer one day
    I will command all of you
    Your kids will meditate in school
    Your kids will meditate in school

    Zen fascists will control you
    Hundred percent natural
    You will jog for the master race
    And always wear the happy face
    Close your eyes, can’t happen here
    Big Bro’ on white horse is near
    The hippies won’t come back, you say
    Mellow out or you will pay
    Mellow out or you will pay

    Now it is nineteen eighty-four (Two thousand seventeen)
    Knock-knock at your front door
    It’s the suede denim secret police
    They have come for your uncool niece
    Come quietly to the camp
    You’d look nice as a drawstring lamp
    Don’t you worry, it’s only a shower
    For your clothes, here’s a pretty flower
    Die on organic poison gas
    Serpent’s egg’s already hatched
    You will croak, you little clown
    When you mess with President Brown
    When you mess with President Brown

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  18. Unions: The other branch of government.

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