By TIM ROWDEN
Jefferson City – A group linked to Gov. Eric Greitens recently contributed $750,000 to “Freedom to Work,” a political action committee bent on making Missouri a “right-to-work” (for less) state.
The Greitens group, “A New Missouri,” was formed a year ago by Greitens’ campaign aides to promote his pro-business, anti-worker agenda. Because it is a nonprofit, the organization can accept unlimited contributions, but it is not required to disclose its donors.
“Freedom to Work” was formed to stop the worker and union-backed effort to block and repeal legislation passed last year that would make Missouri a “right-to-work” state.
A New Missouri also contributed $350,000 last fall to another pro-RTW group, “Missourians for Worker Freedom,” a Kansas City-based political action committee that shares the same address and phone number as yet another pro-RTW group, “Liberty Alliance.”
Volunteers with We Are Missouri collected 310,567 signatures last year to put the measure on the ballot. It’s still unclear whether the measure, known as Proposition A, will appear on the August or November ballot. A “No” vote would prevent the anti-worker “right-to-work” legislation from taking effect.
‘DARK MONEY’ CONTRIBUTION NO SURPRISE
Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, said the “New Missouri” contribution came as no surprise.
“The Governor and his dark-money special interests will stop at nothing to rob Missouri workers of their rights and wages and make Missouri a race to the bottom ‘right-to-work’ for less state,” Louis said. “We knew it would be like this. We can’t outspend them, they’ve got the money. But we’ve got the people, hard-working Missourians who know the truth that ‘right-to-work’ lowers wages. It’s happened in every state where this anti-worker law has been enacted.”
So-called “right-to-work” (RTW) bans union represented businesses from negotiating labor contracts that assure workers will either pay dues or a smaller “fair share” fee to cover the union’s cost of bargaining and representation for them. The idea is to financially starve unions, which, by federal law, must represent all workers in a union shop whether they pay dues or not, thereby limiting the union’s ability to negotiate and represent workers.
In addition to moneyed-arms race, Republican-leaning groups are also collecting signatures to place a constitutional “right-to-work” referendum on the ballot that would allow employees in unionized workplaces to “opt out” of paying union dues for the cost of being represented.
Louis said the referendum effort is a deliberate attempt by pro-business groups to sew confusion among voters.
“They are pulling out every possible tool to try to stop the will of the people,” Louis said. “We have a lot of work to do. We are going up against billionaires with bottomless pockets. But the majority of the people understand this is government overreach.”
We Are Missouri needs your help to get our message out to all Missourians why RTW is wrong for Missouri’s working families. We’ll win this campaign door-to-door and voter-by-voter, and you can help.
Donate to the “$18 for ’18” campaign to defeat RTW. You can donate online by visiting wearemo.org and clicking the red “Donate” button at the top of the page.
Or, if you prefer, you can mail your donation to:
We Are Missouri
227 Jefferson St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Your donation will help ensure working people have a voice in deciding whether Missouri will be another race to the bottom, union-busting RTW state or a place of good, safe jobs with fair wages, quality health care and the chance to retire with dignity.
Please donate today.