Jefferson City – A petition seeking the referral of “right-to-work” legislation to Missouri voters was approved Tuesday by the Missouri Secretary of State.
According to Missouri’s Constitution, legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly must be referred to voters if signatures are collected from 5 percent of voters from two-thirds of Missouri’s congressional districts.
“This is an historic opportunity for Missourians to reject more government overreach by telling the Missouri General Assembly that ‘right-to-work’ is wrong for Missouri,” said Jake Hummel, secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “Today, the Missouri Secretary of State stated unequivocally that the legislative process is not over until Missouri voters have the final say.”
The Missouri AFL-CIO received the approval on the petition on Wednesday. As soon as petitions are printed and trainings are set around the state the signature gathering process will begin.
Those wishing to help should sign-up to Count Me In! with the Missouri AFL-CIO at http://moaflcio.org/count-me-in/ to volunteer to take action on the petition drive or send your name, address cell phone number and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org or text nortw to 738-674.
Training sessions will be held before the signature gathering campaign begins. You will be contacted once the dates for the training sessions across the state are set.
Petitioners need valid signatures turned in before August 28, 2017 to compel a statewide vote on “right-to-work.” If successful, the question would be placed on the November 2018 ballot.
As approved by the Missouri General Assembly, Senate Bill 19 – the “right-to-work” legislation – prohibits employers from deciding for themselves how to run their businesses and reach agreements with their employees without government intervention. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19 on Feb. 6.
“In today's economy, employers and their employees need to work together to create and keep good-paying jobs,” Hummel said. “This referendum stops corrupt politicians and the corporate special interests from trying to micro-manage the private sector and interfere with contracts negotiated between employees and employers.
“This referendum will guarantee that employers in Missouri can decide for themselves how to run their businesses and reach agreements with their employees without government intervention,” Hummel added.
Twenty-six referenda have been called in Missouri since 1914. In 24 of those proposals, voters disapproved the bill enacted by the Missouri General Assembly. The voters approved the action of the General Assembly only two times in almost 100 years. Both occurred in the 1920s. The Citizens Referendum was widely used from 1914-1922 but has been used only six times in the last 80 years. It was last used in 1982.
(Look for additional coverage in the April 6 print edition of the Labor Tribune.)