We Are MO launches ‘$8 for 8’ campaign to offset out-state dark money special interests working to pass RTW
By TIM ROWDEN
With the fight to protect Missouri workers from the ravages of the so-called “right-to-work (for less)” getting ready to move into Phase 2 — public education — WE ARE MO is putting out an urgent call to every rank-and-file union member in Missouri to donate $8 to a grassroots fund drive to support the upcoming public education campaign.
The new “$8 for 8” campaign plays off the incredible feat of union members and our working family allies gathering over 307,000 petition signatures in ALL EIGHT of Missouri’s Congressional Districts (when only six of the eight were needed to put the measure on the ballot) and ALL 114 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis. This is the first time in petition-gathering history that such an historic feat has been accomplished.
“This journey has been so humbling,” said Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis in a statement announcing the new fundraising effort. “We have gathered enough signatures to make sure laws that undermine our freedom to come together and negotiate on the job appear as a ballot initiative for voters. This was just one step in making sure we protect the interests of our families and communities. Now it’s time for us to ante up.”
THE FIGHT HAS JUST BEGUN
“The fight has only just begun,” Louis said. “Desperate out-of-state billionaires and secret, dark money groups (including Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ own nonprofit, A New Missouri Inc.) are already pumping money into Missouri to save their ‘right-to-work’ bill. They have the millions but we have the power of the people!”
Under SB 19 (Missouri’s pending RTW law), businesses would be subject to criminal prosecution and jail time for negotiating labor contracts that require workers to either pay dues or a smaller ‘fair share’ fee to cover the union’s overhead for the union representation they receive.
A “right-to-work” proposal last went on the Missouri ballot in 1978 and failed with just 39.9 percent of voters in support.
During legislative debate on SB 19 in January, Democratic lawmakers – including Representative Doug Beck (D-Affton) a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562; State Senator Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors), a retired member of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 and president of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades; Representative Bob Burns (D-Affton), a retired member of Teamsters Local 600; Representative Clem Smith (D-St. Louis County), a member of Operating Engineers Local 399 and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU; Representative Karla May (D-St. Louis), a member of Communication Workers of American Local 6300 and CBTU; and Senator Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) a member of IBEW Local 1 and secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO – attempted to include a provision to automatically put the measure on the ballot. The majority Republicans, however, voted down their efforts to give voters a say on the matter.
YOUR HELP IS CRITICAL
Now it’s your turn to have a say.
Every union member, every family member should be willing to donate $8 to help counter what will be a multi-million dollar, radio, TV, social media and print media advertising tsunami paid for by Missouri CEOs and out-of-state business interests to confuse Missouri voters and force “right-to-work (for less)” onto Missouri workers.
HERE’S HOW TO DONATE
Here’s how you can help counter the false advertising blitz and repeal so-called “right-to-work” by donating to the “8 for 8” campaign:
• Go to wearemo.org and click the red “Donate” button in the upper right hand corner.
• If you’d rather write a check the mailing address is: We Are Missouri, 227 Jefferson St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
• An $8 donation is recommended, but you don’t have to stop there. A monthly donation in whatever amount you can afford will help keep the money flowing to repeal “right-to-work” and defend Missouri workers from its dark money backers.
Please consider giving $8 per month, or whatever you can afford, to make sure Missouri workers are free of this onerous law that benefits only the corporations and leaves workers – union and non-union – out in the cold.