Local labor unions across Missouri fight to repeal right-to-work legislation
COLUMBIA - Local labor unions across Mid-Missouri held public petition signings for the referendum of “right-to-work” law Saturday.
The petition needs 143,218 signatures in order to put right-to-work on the 2018 ballot. Locations of the petition signings included California, Centralia, Columbia, Farmington, Fulton, Jefferson City, Palmyra and West Plains.
Governor Eric Greitens signed the right-to-work bill into law in February, making Missouri the 28th state to pass the legislation. However, labor unions have until Aug. 28, the day right-to-work is scheduled to go into effect, to collect enough signatures on the petition. If enough signatures are collected, right-to-work will not take effect, and instead be voted on by Missourians in the 2018 election.
Volunteers encouraged Missourians to come out and sign the petition.
"We are here fighting right-to-work in Missouri to keep the good, middle-class jobs in the state," said Ian Bedell, a volunteer at Laborer Unions 995 in Columbia.
Right-to-work laws throughout the country prohibit labor unions from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. Supporters say that the law ends forced unionism and provides Missourians the right to work without giving up any earnings to a labor organization. Supporters also trust that the law will bring more job opportunities to Missouri and make it a more competitive state.
Governor Eric Grietens supports right-to-work because he believes it would stop union bosses from taking a cut of Missourian's paycheck to support their political organization.
Opponents of right-to-work believe that the law allows free-riders, people who will reap the benefits like higher wages and healthcare, without actually paying for the advantages. Opponents believe that without unions, Missouri's working class will see lower wages and fewer benefits.
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