‘Right-to-work’ bill headed to Missouri governor’s desk for approval

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Jefferson City, MO -- The Missouri House of Representatives has approved Senate Bill 19 on a 100-to-59 vote sending the so-called "right-to-work" bill to Governor Eric Greiten's desk for approval.

The legislation prohibits companies from negotiating labor contracts that require workers, as a condition of employment, to pay either dues or a ‘fair share fee’ for the union representation they receive. The bill contains a “grandfather clause” that protects union contracts until they expire.

Greitens, a Republican, campaigned on a promise to sign “right-to-work” into law as soon as it is presented by the Missouri Legislature.

Hundreds of union members across the state packed the gallery in the House chambers and overflow area this morning to show their opposition to the bill. Shortly after it was approved, several hard-working Missourians made their way to the governor's office to express their concerns.

"I joined a union because I wanted to be in a union," said Jake Crismon, a Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 member. "I work with contractors that aren't forced to be in a union either. I think this is government overreach from Jefferson City. I'd like Gov. Greitens to not sign this bill."

Leslie Hall, a United Steelworkers Local 713 member, noted that because her plant is union, it helps to build up the wages in the entire area.

"There are several manufacturing plants in neighboring towns that are not union, but competing with us," Hall said. "They keep their wages high, and they keep their safety issues where OSHA expects them to be. I just want Gov. Greitens to realize that if wages fall at my plant, they will fall in the entire area, and people won't have money."

Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, said he was inspired by what these brave working people did today by taking their concerns directly to the governor’s office within minutes of the passage of the damaging bill.

"The working families of Missouri deserve the dignity of a decent life," Louis said.

He added that it is completely reasonable to expect that when one is working day in and day out, he/she should not have to worry about their wages affording them the ability to pay rent, put food on the table, pay their bills and be able to be part of their community by having a dinner out or a nice night at the movies.

“With today’s passage of the deceptive right to work bill, Missouri is on a path that is dangerous to the well-being of working families and our neighborhoods as a whole, and for what – to fulfill the agenda of out-of-state corporations that are putting unnecessary profits above the human needs of the neighborhoods where they do business," Louis said. "I, along with the working people of Missouri that I was elected to represent, ask Gov. Greitens to veto this harmful bill.”

Updated 2/2/17 at 4 p.m.

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