Wednesday, August 23, 2017
New Missouri right-to-work law suspended
It has been a while since I had some good news to report on from unions in this country. This is one of those stories. Labor and union interests prevailed by using petitions to stop a "right-to-work"-for-less law passed in Missouri. Thanks to their efforts that "right-to-work" has been suspended. -SJ Otto
Opponents forced the suspension Friday of a new
Missouri law banning
mandatory union fees after they delivered dozens of boxes of signed petitions
demanding it be put to a public vote.
More than 1,000 people hoping to block the right-to-work law rallied at the Capitol and marched to the Secretary of State's Office to hand off signatures.
Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's spokeswoman Maura Browning said that means "essentially the rule is suspended now." If enough of the signatures are valid, it will be up to voters to decide whether to ditch the law or keep it in place.
"This is our living," said Tamara Maxwell, a union member who works at
Kansas City's Ford assembly
plant and was among those rallying in Jefferson
City. "We should be in control of that, not one
person just signing it away."
Gov. Eric Greitens and other GOP supporters have touted right-to-work as a way to keep
competitive in the fight to bring jobs and business to the state and argue it
gives workers a choice on whether to join unions.
The Republican governor signed right-to-work into law in February, and it was
set to take effect Aug. 28.
"We passed Right-to-Work to give workers a choice to join a union,"
Rep. Holly Rehder said in a Friday statement. "Union bosses are afraid
of giving workers the freedom to decide if a union is right for the worker and
are intent on maintaining their power to force workers to unionize in Missouri."
A coalition of union members and other opponents argue the policy would hurt labor organizations and could mean lower wages. It says it gathered more than 300,000 signed petitions to put it to a public vote. More than 100,000 valid signatures are needed to put the measure on the ballot.
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