A powerful Washington State union has abandoned defending a forced dues scheme and shifted its tactics to appealing to home health workers to remain in the union.

A state policy has allowed SEIU Local 775 to automatically deduct dues payments from home health workers for years. However, that practice stands on shaky legal ground after the Supreme Court declared a similar policy in Illinois unconstitutional.

Local 775 is taking a proactive approach to retaining its unwilling dues payers voluntarily: The union sent a letter to home health providers, many of whom are caring for disabled loved ones, petitioning them to continue to pay union dues. The letter, which was obtained by the Freedom Foundation, a state think-tank, highlights the benefits the union has obtained for providers.

“Add your name to the thousands of caregivers who are standing with our bargaining team for better care for our clients, and for the professional respect, wages, and benefits we deserve,” 775 President David Rolf says in the letter.

The union is hoping to avoid seeing its membership rolls fall as a result of the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn decision, which found Illinois had violated the rights of home healthcare workers by forcing them to pay union dues.

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