Right-to-work opponents look to add repeal measure to ballot
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state capitol Friday for a rally against the controversial right-to-work law passed by lawmakers earlier this year.
The event will feature a march from from the Capitol rotunda to the Secretary of State's office, where people will present signatures for a petition to block the law's implementation Aug. 28 and send the law to the ballot in November 2018.
Rally organizer Clark Brown said he is excited about the chance for voters to potentially decide the fate of right-to-work.
"I think that this comes to a question did we have lawmakers pass legislation without the best interest or without the will of the people, and I think that this question being proposed by ballot initiative for voters to make the decision is really the proper way," Brown said.
Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, told KOMU 8 News right-to-work has benefited other midwestern states.
“If they get enough validated signatures, that’ll be very unfortunate, because states that have passed right to work recently, whether it be Wisconsin or Indiana or whether it be the birthplace of organized labor, Michigan, all have seen tremendous jobs and economic opportunity: new factories, new employers locating to their state," Onder said. "If the unions succeed by August 28th, they will deprive Missourians of those opportunities.”
He also said it's time for the law to go into effect.
"We’ve passed right to work," Onder said. "We need to let it go into effect. Missourians overwhelmingly elected a governor that is for right to work and a legislature that is for right to work. We really need to let the will of the people be done."
Brown said Friday's rally prioritizes the people's voice over the interests of politicians.
"I'm excited to see that rally tomorrow and the delivery of these petitions take place to show workers that we aren't always just driven by special interests and corporate America and the agenda that sometimes lawmakers have," Brown said.
The Secretary of State's office is expected to take six to eight weeks to verify all of the signatures it will receive Friday.
If enough signatures are verified, voters will decide the fate of right-to-work with the ballot measure.