Organized Labor Rallies Against Right-to-Work Law, Other Bills

By on March 30, 2018

From St. Louis Public Radio:  Several hundred union members rallied Wednesday in Jefferson City against the right-to-work law state lawmakers passed last year.

In November, voters will go to the polls to decide on Proposition A, and a “yes” vote would uphold Senate Bill 19, a controversial bill signed by Gov. Eric Greitens last year that would enact a right-to-work law. The law, which effectively was suspended until voters decide its fate, mandates that no person can be required to join a labor union or pay dues to a labor union as a condition of employment.

“Prop A means lower wages, fewer rights and less protection for you families,” said Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, addressing the crowd gathered on the south lawn of the Capitol. “If Prop A passes, Eric Greitens and [Attorney General] Josh Hawley get their wish.”

Those critical of “right-to-work” legislation say that it lowers wages and reduces the ability of unions to stand up for their workers. Supporters on the other hand say that it makes Missouri a more competitive state when it comes to creating new jobs.

“It is the labor leaders that came before you that struggled and fought for a safe working place, for decent wages, for benefits you can count on,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said in her speech to the crowd Wednesday. “It is in fact the labor unions of this state that have made the middle class work.”

McCaskill also criticized Attorney General Josh Hawley, who aims to unseat her next fall, and his donors. They have tried to paint her as an elitist.

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