By TIM ROWDEN
The AFL-CIO is bringing its renowned Common Sense Economics (CSE) program to Missouri for a series of trainings with a focus on misguided, misnamed “right-to-work” laws.
CSE is a training and education program, conducted by and for union members and allies, to create a better understanding about America’s economic rules and the ways they have been written to chip away at the freedom and rights of working people.
“This is a great opportunity for us,” said Merri Berry, campaign/political director at the Missouri AFL-CIO and the state federation’s point person for CSE.
“During the petition drive, one of the most common things we heard from circulators was that people didn’t know about ‘right-to-work,’ but once it was explained, they were opposed,” Berry said. “These trainings will educate our activists, and further prepare them to have conversations with their friends, families and neighbors over the next 13 months.”
The CSE trainings, which are scheduled to last an hour, will highlight the origin and impact of “right-to-work.” Workers in “right-to-work” states make less money, are less likely to have employer-sponsored health care and a pension and are more likely to die on the job. For decades, “right-to-work” laws have sought to keep workers divided and undermine their freedom to negotiate a fair return on their work.
Training participants will gain a deeper knowledge of “right-to-work”and other key economic issues, tools they can then share with their local union or community group.
“If any local is looking to further their members’ education on “right-to-work,” this is a great opportunity,” said Berry. “I can tell you from firsthand experience they will leave empowered and ready to make a difference.”
The initial schedule of trainings, sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Missouri AFL-CIO and their affiliates is noted above. Participants can sign up by visiting missouricse.com.
• Oct. 9 – 7 p.m. at CWA 6316, 1131 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. (Sponsored by the Southeast Missouri Central Labor Council)
• Oct. 10 – 5:30 p.m. at Argosy Casino, 777 NW Argosy Casino Parkway, Riverside, MO 64150. (Sponsored by the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO)
• Oct. 11 – 5 p.m. at Laborers Local 264 hall, 1101 East 87th Street, Kansas City, MO 64131. (Sponsored by the Greater Kansas City CLC & Laborers Local 264)
• Oct. 16 – 4:45 p.m. at IBEW Local 453 hall, 2902 E. Division Street, Springfield, MO 65803. (Sponsored by the Springfield Central Labor Council)
• Oct. 17 – 5:30 p.m. at IBEW Local 1 hall, 5850 Elizabeth Street, St. Louis, MO 63310. (Sponsored by the St. Louis Central Labor Council)
• Oct. 18 – 7:30 p.m. at the Jefferson City Labor Temple, 209 Flora Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65101. (Sponsored by the Jefferson City Central Labor Council)