The state Labor Relations Board has slated an election for later this month so state-subsidized child care workers can vote on whether they want to join a union. The law allowing the workers to unionize was passed this year by the General Assembly.
The vote on whether to unionize is set to take place at six different locations around the state from October 26 through October 30. If they vote “yes,” about 550 state-subsidized child care workers will become part of Service Employees International Union, Local 1199 Northeast.
SEIU officials say unionizing the child care workers will offer an economic boost for the state, and increase the availability of affordable child care.
The conservative Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity is leading opposition to unionizing the state-subsidized child care workers. The center says the unionization drive is an attempt to collect more union dues for the flagging labor movement, and could lead to the unionization of other workers who get state subsides.