Highway workers win three-year contract fight

UNION, MO – Fifty employees of the Franklin County, Mo., Highway Department recently emerged victorious from a three-year battle with the county that won them a new contract with increased wages and improved language.

“The main point of the story is the solidarity of these members,” said Operating Engineers Local 148 Business Representative Doug Williams. “I’m amazed at how they stuck together and didn’t give up the fight.”

The county government hired an anti-union law firm and tried various means to break the union, but the members were united in their resolve, Williams said.

Under state law, the highway workers – public employees – are not allowed to strike and not obligated to join the union or pay dues. Nevertheless, every veteran member remained strong in the unit, new employees joined the union as soon as they could, and all paid their dues throughout the long struggle.

“It was unbelievable how they stuck together during those three years,” Williams said. “They are the poster kids for solidarity.”


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