By TIM ROWDEN
“Not long after Governor Jay Nixon vowed to veto the first ever ‘Right to Work’ bill pushed through the legislature, Missouri Republicans across the state started discussing plans for an override attempt,” Crystal Brinkley, executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party wrote in a recent email to her followers.
“You heard right – GOP leaders want to force through a bill backed by wealthy extremists and out-of-state corporations, despite evidence that ‘Right to Work’ states have lower wages, less benefits and the least safety for working people,” Brinkley continued before providing a link, shared on Facebook and Twitter, for followers to sign-on to pledge their support for the Governor’s veto.
Democrats are rallying support to sustain the Governor’s veto, and labor leaders and worker-friendly legislators are spreading the truth about HB 116.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) would prohibit security clauses from union contracts, meaning workers who are not union members would no longer pay a fair share free to support the union’s collective bargaining activities – although unions would still be required to offer the same services to all workers under the contract.
The bill would make it a class C misdemeanor – punishable by 15 days in jail – to require people to pay dues, require prosecutors and the attorney general to investigate complaints, and make violators subject to unlimited civil penalties.
“We are hell bent to make sure that veto is sustained,” Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, told labor and faith leaders at last month’s Faith/Labor Breakfast in St. Louis.
Right-to-work, Louis said, “has a dismal effect on people who are trying to make ends meet.
“They don’t care about that,” Louis said of State House and Senate Republicans who passed the bill – and who are trying to convince their colleagues who crossed the aisle to vote against it to change their vote.
“We can’t let that happen,” Louis said.
Twenty-two Republican representatives voted against the bill, and their votes are vital if the Governor’s veto is to be sustained.
SPREADING THE WORD
Louis was making the rounds last week, and said he would be traveling across the state between now and September’s veto override session to speak with worker-friendly legislators on both sides of the aisle about what’s at stake if Missouri passes right-to-work.
After speaking at the Faith/Labor Breakfast, Louis traveled to Graphic Communications Local 6-505M union hall in Maryland Heights, where he joined State Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur), State Rep. Michael Butler (D-St. Louis), State Sen. Scott Sifton (D-Affton) and State Rep. Bill Otto (D-Maryland Heights) providing report on right-to-work and the recently ended legislative session for a program sponsored for the Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans.
After the discussion, attendants wrote brief notes to be sent to Gov. Jay Nixon, urging him to veto the RTW bill.
Union members and supporters of workers’ rights are encouraged to call the governor’s office at 855-626-6011 and tell Gov. Nixon that they support his veto of HB 116 (right-to-work).
THANK LEGISLATORS WHO VOTED ‘NO’
Pat White, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, speaking at last month’s delegates’ meeting, urged union members to thank legislators who voted against the anti-worker legislation.
“If you see these senators or representatives, please thank them,” White said.
NOT A CONSERVATIVE ISSUE
White marveled at the Republican legislators backing right-to-work who continue trying to package it as a platform issue.
“For some reason, they want to make this a conservative issue, and it’s not,” White said.
“Conservatives pride themselves on less government,” White said. “Right-to-work makes government intrusion.” by inserting government into negotiations between employees and employers.
Call the governor’s office at 855-626-6011 to tell Gov. Nixon you support his veto of HB 116 (right-to-work).
It’s important that union members know which of their Missouri legislators stood with them – and who stood against them – on this session’s right-to-work vote.
To all the legislators who stayed strong for working families and voted “No” on so-called right-to-work, a sincere and grateful “Thank you.”
If your representative is on this list, regardless of party affiliation, they are a friend of working families. If your representative is not on this list, they are not a friend of unions or working families, and they do not represent your interests.
The Missouri Senate the passed anti-union, anti-worker right-to-work legislation by a vote of 21-13.
Here is how the vote broke down.
Voting ‘yes’ (for) RTW:
Voting ‘no’ (against) RTW: