Legislative Conference puts pressure on state officials
A state-wide assembly of leaders with the International Association of Machinists spent three days in Jefferson City last month, knocking on doors at the State Capitol to pitch their pleas that our state legislators do what’s right for working men and women of our state.
The annual Missouri State Council of Machinists Joint Legislative Conference, again hosted by the International Association of Machinists District 9, is designed to give unions outside the building trades a chance to lobby the state legislators.
District 9 Directing Business Representative Mark Conner addressed the crowd of strong, informed members and labor leaders at the opening session, reminding them about the importance of approaching the legislators as “one solid body.”
“We all come together as one during the spring Legislative session. Listen to the comments and views of the various politicians, and then discuss various issues,” Conner said. “So, prior to heading to the Hill to lobby, we must have one united voice and one clear message.”
Conner said when you’re a young member on the shop floor, if you do not know better, it is not hard to believe it when anti-union advocates pound it in your heads day in and day out at work and thru 30 second sound bites on TV.
“They say right-to-work is good for working families, and if you elect a Democrat, they will take your guns away,” Conner said. “It is just their way to divide and conquer working families.”
Conner said it scares him to think what will become our kids and grandkids if we don’t stand up to Corporate America.
“My generation was able to raise a family primarily on one income just some 10 to 15 years ago,” Conner said. “It was because of our ancestors who fought back and stood UNITED AND STRONG. They stood up against Corporate America – doing the right thing for all working families.”
Along with the statewide body of Machinists representatives, other unions attending included the Operating Engineers, United Auto Workers and United Steel Workers. The conference attracted about 300-plus delegates from across the state.