By TIM ROWDEN
Republican legislators who stood with working families in the Missouri legislature on this session’s right-to-work legislation are making the rounds of area labor clubs and the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades to reiterate their opposition to the anti-worker measure and pledge their continued support in 2016.
Sen. Gary Romine (R-Farmington), a friend of working people who has demonstrated time and again his courage to do what he thinks is right, was the guest of honor at a recent breakfast hosted by the St. Louis Building Trades.
Romine’s father, Leroy, is a 54-year member of Operating Engineers Local 513 and his son-in-law is a member of IBEW Local 1.
“It’s easy for me to make the decisions that need to be made in Jefferson City,” Romine said. “But it helps to have your support.
“If you look at the Republican platform, right-to-work is not in it,” Romine said. “So I don’t understand why some of these guys are caught up in sound bites.”
Rep. John McCaherty (R-High Ridge) paid a recent visit to the South St. Louis County Labor Club where he said, though it wasn’t always easy, “It’s a great privilege to stand with you.”
McCaherty said his opinion on right-to-work has evolved over the years, mostly thanks to the educational efforts of union members.
“If I had voted in 2010, I probably would have voted for right-to-work because I didn’t know any better,” McCaherty said. “I thank you for unclouding this thing.
“A lot of my colleagues in the House say it’s more conservative to destroy the unions with right-to-work. I think it’s more conservative to let you guys do what you do.”
Without unions, he said, “Who’s going to train our workforce. Where are companies going to find the right trained workers? This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; this is about jobs.”
McCaherty concluded by urging union members to “support those candidates who support you, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.