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Dayton chides "extremists" in daycare union suit

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DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is blaming "right-wing extremists" for the lawsuits being heard in federal court Thursday aimed at stopping the unionization of state-subsidized child care providers. 

The lawsuits, filed by several child care providers, claim the unionization measure Dayton signed into law in May is unconstitutional and violates federal labor law. 

Dayton disagrees. He told reporters that national right-wing groups opposed to all unions are funding the court challenge to make a political statement. He also said they don't want to allow providers to decide for themselves whether to join a union.

"These people and others want to dictate to them, 'No, you don't even have a choice. You can't join a union because we say so, and we've got the money to back it up,'" Dayton said. "I think that's a travesty."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent what they describe as "further irreparable harm." 

Thursday's hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.