Just a few short months after Missouri voters overwhelming rejected Proposition A, a new petition could place another so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) initiative on the 2020 ballot.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has certified a petition submitted by former GOP chair Todd Graves that would allow Missouri voters to make Missouri a RTW state through a constitutional amendment.
“We made a statement last year,” the Missouri AFL-CIO said in a statement. “We DO NOT want ‘right-to-work.’ Yet greedy CEOs are trying to bring it up again. Know before you sign any petition.”
It will take more than 160,000 valid signatures to put a RTW amendment on the 2020 ballot; if enough voters ignore the petition drive, a right-to-work amendment can’t go forward.
So-called RTW laws limit workers’ ability to negotiate for better pay and working conditions by baring union-represented businesses from negotiating contracts that assure workers will either pay dues or a smaller “fair share” fee to cover the union’s cost of bargaining and representation. It has been a top Republican priority during recent years, but Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected a RTW ballot measure in the August 2018 primary election, with 67 percent of Missourians voting against becoming a RTW state.
“Someone didn’t get the message,” said Scott Howell, business manager of Laborers Local 579 in St. Joseph, MO. “This is an attack on not just union people, but an attack on working class people throughout the state of Missouri; it’s targeted them. Any time voters speak like that, I think the will of the people should be taken into account” Howell said.