UFCW 655, IBEW 1 members approve dues increase to support ‘right-to-work (for less)’ fight this year

‘IT’S A FIGHT FOR MY SON’S FUTURE as well as my own,” said UFCW Local 655 member Bill Thomas, (Dierberg’s, O’Fallon) as he presented a personal $150 check to the local’s RTW fight at the union’s recent regular meeting. Proudly accepting the check are Local 655 President David Cook (right) and Secretary-Treasurer Garry Torpea.  – Labor Tribune photo

With millions pouring in for RTW, workers asked to support campaign to defeat Proposition A



The effort of working families to help defeat the anti-worker so-called “right-to-work (for less)” effort took a major step forward recently as the members of two St. Louis locals – the first in Missouri – agreed to increase their dues to defeat Proposition A (RTW).

• UFCW Local 655 approved a 50-cents-a-week – $26 a year – dues increase by an 86 percent vote.

• IBEW Local 1 members, by an 82 percent margin, voted a one-percent-of-wages dues increase to defeat RTW and support other needed initiatives.


“There’s not a more important fight for workers in 2018 in the country than Missouri’s RTW fight,” said Local 655 President David Cook, applauding his membership’s overwhelming support for the minimal dues increase. “When you look at what happens to workers in RTW states, you see why we need to stand up and fight this issue by voting ‘NO’ on Proposition A when it comes up for a public vote later this year.”

Using health care as an example, Cook pointed out that even under a union contract in RTW Houston, TX, companies pay $2 an hour LESS into the health and welfare fund, resulting in lesser health benefits for workers and their families and more out-of-pocket expenses for workers.


“The Local 1 membership was presented with several reasons for the need for a dues increase, one of the most pressing being our fight against RTW,” Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs said. “I am proud to say Local 1 will be poised to help fight RTW with money and members as the dues increase  passed overwhelmingly.”


AN OVERWHELMING 86% VOTE of UFCW Local 655 members throughout the union’s jurisdiction to increase their dues to fight the phony, anti-worker “right-to-work (for less)” was made official at the union’s recent St. Louis meeting. The secret ballot vote was held in 14 meetings throughout the region. Counting votes are (from left) Bill Stewart (Dierberg’s/Telegraphy Rd.), Bill Thomas (Dierberg’s/O’Fallon) and Bill Kaiser (Schnucks/Festus). – Labor Tribune photo

“We can’t outspend them,” Cook said, “But we can outsmart them by being honest with voters about how this will, in the long run, hurt them in their pocketbook.”

“I compliment Local 655 and Local 1 members on their willingness to step up and put skin in the game,” said Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Jake Hummel (a proud member of IBEW Local 1).

“It’s important that our members have a direct stake in this fight. This is their livelihood, their future. And this is not just a fight for union members, it’s a fight for ALL workers in Missouri.”


The individual union efforts are in addition to the “$18 for ‘18” campaign launched by the We Are Missouri coalition of workers’ groups to fight Proposition A and defeat RTW.

Workers across the state are being asked to donate at least $18 (or whatever you can afford to help save your job and your family’s future) to counterbalance the $25-$35 million dark money, anti-worker groups are expected to spend on their propaganda campaign to deceive Missouri voters.

You can make a donation of any size to the “$18 for ’18” campaign by writing a check payable to “We Are MO” and mailing it to:

We Are Missouri
227 Jefferson St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Or, if you prefer, you can donate online by visiting wearemo.org and clicking the red “Donate” button at the top of the page.

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