By TIM ROWDEN
State Senator Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors) and state House candidate Vicky Englund spoke to members of IATSE Local 6 (Stagehands), IATSE Local 143 (Projectionists) and Decorators & Displaymen USW Local 39 at the Local 6 union hall recently about the importance of this year’s elections and the need to register and get out to vote.
Walsh even brought voter registration cards for members to fill out or take home to family and friends.
Oct. 12 is the deadline to register to vote in the November election in Missouri.
With a Republican majority in the House and Senate, Walsh said, electing Democrat Chris Koster governor is essential to prevent Missouri from becoming a so-called “right-to-work” state.
“If Koster is not our governor, we will be a ‘right-to-work’ state by Feb. 1,” Walsh said, explaining that legislators can be expected to attach an emergency clause to the legislation allowing it to take effect immediately allegedly to fuel the state’s economy.
Of course, “right-to-work” has nothing to do with fueling the state’s economy. What it does is forbid unions from negotiating contracts with employers requiring that employees pay union dues or agency fees as a condition of employment, thereby weakening unions’ negotiating power and resulting in lower wages for union and non-union workers alike.
“The only thing it’s going to fuel is the pocketbooks of (union hating mega-donor) Dave Humphreys and non-union contractors who want more money and less benefits for you,” Walsh said. “And that will be the beginning of the end for all of us.”
Humphreys the owner of TAMKO Building Products in Joplin has pumped millions into advertising and the campaign war chests of “right-to-work” candidates in this election cycle.
Walsh, a retired member of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 and president of the Missouri State Building & Construction Trades Council has been carrying the message to register and get out and vote to labor clubs and union meetings.
“There is nothing more important than registering our people to vote,” Walsh said. “Because if we don’t think they’re registering their people, we’re crazy.”
“We really need you to get out and vote. Take all of your family members. If you’re not in town, vote absentee.”
Englund, a south St. Louis County Democrat and daughter of a Machinist is running in House District 94, also spoke of the importance of voting, not just the top of the ballot races, but also the down ballot races for state senators and representatives.
The 94th District includes Oakville, Mehlville, parts of Affton and Lemay, Concord and Green Park. Englund has held the seat twice before, twice beating Republican incumbent Cloria Brown, the last time by about 300 votes.
“The farther down you go on the ballot, the closer you get to somebody who can affect your life,” Englund said. “We need to really talk to everyone we know and encourage them to come out and vote.”
REGISTERING TO VOTE AND VOTING ABSENTEE