An anti-union lobby group in America is challenging the legal status as workers of home health care and child care workers, mainly poor women of colour. If the campaign is successful, unions may no longer be allowed to represent these workers, Labor Notes reports.
Home care workers, who are paid by the states, are difficult to organise because of their unclear employment relationship, high turnover and the fact that they may not be allowed to go on strike.
Unions like the SEIU have successfully formed coalitions with home care users to lobby states for better working conditions for home care workers. As a result, one quarter of the 1.8 million SEIU members are now home care workers.
However, their position remains insecure, Labor Notes argues. Labour legislation is ill adapted to the growing services economy and top-down organising strategies are vulnerable.