310,567 signatures collected to let citizens’ voices be heard on so-called ‘right-to-work’

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Some 5,000 working Missourians traveled to Jefferson City Friday to turn in 310,567 signatures on the Citizens' Veto referendum petition to repeal so-called "right-to-work" by placing it on the November 2018 ballot for voters to decide. – Labor Tribune photo

Jefferson City – Some 5,000 Missourians from across the state filled the Capitol Rotunda last Friday as citizens representing the state’s eight congressional districts announced the delivery of hundreds of thousands of voters’ signatures in an historic effort to repeal the so-called “right-to-work” bill signed by Governor Eric Greitens in February.

Missouri workers and union volunteers with the We Are Missouri coalition collected 310,567 signatures – nearly three times the number needed – to trigger a statewide vote on the anti-union, anti-worker law to let voters, not bought-and-paid-for politicians and their dark money special interests, decide what is right for working Missourians.

Senate Bill 19 would prohibit companies from freely negotiating labor contracts that require workers covered by a union contract to either pay dues or, if they chose not to be a member of the union to pay a “fair share” fee, for the union representation they receive – allowing freeloaders to enjoy all the benefits of union representation without paying one red cent to support the overhead necessary to run the union. Violations by companies would be punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.

“‘Right-to-work’ is wrong. It’s wrong for Missouri workers. It’s wrong for Missouri families. It’s time for Governor Greitens and extreme politicians to stop doing the bidding of their dark money donors and begin fighting for Missouri families,” said Lori Giannini, a 12-year United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655 member from St. Charles County who works as a grocery clerk at Schnuck’s.

Submitted signatures will now be copied by the Secretary of States office, then sent to local election authorities for verification as part of the certification process for the November 2018 ballot.

“I think the people have spoken and they are not all union people,” said Representative Doug Beck (D-Affton), a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562. “This is democracy in action.”

See complete coverage in the Aug. 24 edition of the Labor Tribune and expanded coverage in our special Labor Day issue on Aug. 31.

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