Rolling Stone Says MO’s Labor Are Rock Stars

By on August 9, 2018

From Rolling Stone:

Missouri’s Labor Vote Was a Historic Win for the Little Guy

Republicans attempted to crush the state’s unions and failed miserably

by Bob Moser

While the media lemmings dutifully followed President Trump into a House district in Ohio, where a special election on Tuesday decided who would occupy a single seat in Congress for just a few weeks (the same candidates will fight it out for a full term in November), something of genuine consequence was going down a few hours west in Missouri. American labor, all but left for dead after a decade-long run of legal and legislative beat-downs, threw everything it had into a long-shot effort to overturn yet another “right to work” law in yet another Midwestern state — and came up with its most startling political victory in decades.

Voters in Missouri, a deep-red state that’s anything but a “labor stronghold,” not only vetoed the GOP’s union-busting, wage-slashing law, they did it by a mind-bending two-to-one margin. In the process, they changed the narrative of labor’s long slide toward irrelevance. As state AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Jacob Hummel, a Democratic state senator from St. Louis, tells Rolling Stone, “The corporations and Chambers of Commerce have the money. They don’t have the people.”

This was the first time since 2011 that labor-smashing legislation made it onto any state’s ballot, and the results then, in Ohio, were strikingly similar, with 62 percent of voters rejecting a “right to work” law aimed at public employees. (In June, the Supreme Court overturned those voters’ will, along with 40 years of precedents, to basically impose the same law on the entire country in Janus v. AFSCME.) After Ohio, the Koch brothers and U.S. Chamber of Commerce wised up, ramming “right to work” laws through Republican legislatures in labor’s heartland — Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky — often in ways designed to forestall a popular vote.

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One Comment

  1. A. Harry Chakides

    08/10/2018 at 9:29 AM

    In reply to your article,”Missouri’s Labor Vote Was a Historic Win for the Little Guy”
    “Republicans attempted to crush the state’s unions and failed miserably”, how does this “crush” labor unions ? Either you didn’t read the proposition, or you are trying to mislead your readers. I think you are smart enough to be guilty of the latter. Proposition A was brought to the ballot BY the Unions, and was to overturn a law passed by the State legislature and signed into law. It merely protected NON-union employees from having to pay dues to a union they did not belong to, and who were not covered by their collective bargaining agreement, or be forced to join a Union, which became the law of the land thanks to a judge who thought they should, because they somehow vicariously benefitted from the Union representation of their co-workers. Thank God the Supreme had the sense to make this practice illegal. Here is the ballot language.

    “A “yes” vote will adopt Senate Bill 19 (“right-to-work”), passed by the general assembly in 2017. If adopted, Senate Bill 19 will amend Missouri law to prohibit, as a condition of employment, forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues or fees, in full or pro-rata (“fair-share”), to a union. Senate Bill 19 will also make any activity which violates employees’ rights provided by the bill illegal and ineffective and allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate those employees’ rights. Senate Bill 19 will not apply to union agreements entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19, unless those agreements are amended or renewed after the effective date of Senate Bill 19.

    A “no” vote will reject Senate Bill 19 (“right-to-work”), and will result in Senate Bill 19 not becoming Missouri law.”