‘We say no.’
The St. Louis Gateway District Area Local American Postal Workers Union is delivering a strong message against Missouri’s phony anti-union, anti-worker “right-to-work” (for less) law, implementation of which has been forestalled pending a public vote in 2018.
“We say no,” said Fred Wolfmeyer, president of St. Louis Gateway Local 8 of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU). “No to hurting our unions. No to big corporations taking away our power. No to taking away our rights.”
So-called “right-to-work” (RTW) outlaws 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. The idea is to financially starve unions, which, by federal law, have to represent all workers in a union shop whether or not they help pay the cost of the union’s overhead, thereby limiting the union’s ability to negotiate and represent workers.
The Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature rushed through “right-to-work” legislation earlier this year and Gov. Eric Greitens, signed it into law in February.
The Missouri AFL-CIO and state chapter of the NAACP immediately filed an initiative petition to place the measure on the November 2018 ballot for voters to decide.
Union members and working family volunteers with We Are Missouri, collected 310,567 signatures – roughly three times what was needed – to place the measure on the ballot.
“In an era where the government is pledging to scale back regulations, ‘right-to-work’ is just another example of government overreach,” Wolfmeyer said. “It tells employers who they can and cannot negotiate with, and even what they can and cannot talk about.
“This weakens the St. Louis APWU because we will have to negotiate for and represent employees who do not pay union dues,” Wolfmeyer said. “They will get the same benefits as dues-paying members, without having to spend the money. Free grievances, free arbitration, free benefits. They will be freeloading on the backs of hardworking, dues paying union members. We simply believe that government should stay out of our negotiations and that anyone who receives the benefits of union representation should pay for it.”
CALL TO ACTION
Wolfmeyer called the statement a call to action in Missouri, for union members to support their unions, to vote against “right-to-work” next year and contact their senators and representatives and urge them not to support this unjust, anti-worker law.
“Let Jefferson City know that ‘right-to-work’ is wrong for Missouri,” Wolfmeyer said.