‘Not Really a Worker’: Home-Based Unions Challenged in Court

Source: Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein, Labor Notes, October 19, 2010

As unions rapidly declined in the last decade, the big organizing victories of home health care and then home childcare workers gave hope for revitalizing a section of the labor movement, based on the mobilization of poor women of color. Seventy-four thousand California home attendants voted to join the Service Employees (SEIU) in 1999.

Since then, home care workers have become a quarter of SEIU’s 1.8 million members. While their unionization of home-based childcare workers is less dramatic, AFSCME, UAW, AFT, and others have succeeded in Illinois, Oregon, Wisconsin, New York, and elsewhere.

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