Union representatives, workers and vocal critics of Missouri’s recent Right to Work bill have taken the next step in repealing the controversial law by collecting signatures for a referendum petition.
The petition, should it collect enough signatures, could place the signed Right to Work law back on the ballot for 2018 mid-term elections, and hopefully give voters one more chance to stop the legislation. Organizers will have until August 28th to collect about 90,000 signatures and force the referendum.
“Now is the time to make your voices heard,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in nearby Ohio. “It’s not often that workers are granted a second chance when it comes to this issue. Voters in Missouri need to do everything in their power to overcome state lawmakers’ carelessness.”
Referendum petitions give voters a second chance and allow citizens to bring legislation back to the voting booth. To prove it’s still a major issue, each referendum petition must collect signatures from 5% of the voters in two-thirds of the state’s districts.
Most states rarely see a referendum placed on the ballot, but Missouri is no stranger to the process. Although it hasn’t been used since 1982, 26 laws have been rejected by referendum since the early 20th century.
Missouri has seen conflict over Right to Work for some time. Law proposals and awareness campaigns have tried to rally voters behind it for several decades. The current Right to Work bill was signed into law in February.
The concept behind Right to Work frees workers from the burden of union membership and doesn’t allow unions to collect dues from non-members, even though they must still provide coverage and representation to those who want it.
Advocates say this gives businesses breathing room and that money saved from working with unions can be invested back into businesses, trickling down to paychecks and making industries grow.
Critics, however, claim that is just an excuse and the trickledown effect is a myth. Without financial support, unions are doomed to fail, resulting in employees losing protections, seeing lower wages and hazardous conditions, and industries growing significantly slower.
“Studies have shown time and time again that it just doesn’t work,” said Dalton. “Right to Work doesn’t offer strong benefits, it just helps greedy businesses. Workers need to learn the facts now so they can add their signature to the referendum.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org.
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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