After verification and analysis, the final results of Missouri’s referendum petition reveal not only a successful campaign, but promise for union support during 2018 elections. Labor organizers and union supporters nearly tripled the 90,000 signature requirement with 310,567, ending in 250,237 officially certified and counted. Congressional District 5, which includes Kansas City, Richmond and other cities, came in first place for most signatures gathered.
Based on the overwhelming number of signatures, critics of Right to Work believe this could indicate victory in achieving full repeal.
The petition came shortly after Gov. Eric Greitens signed new Right to Work legislation into law despite little voter support. With the success of the referendum petition, the law will be frozen, and its final fate decided by voters during the 2018 midterm elections.
“Missouri’s anti-Right to Work groups deserve a pat on the back,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in nearby Ohio. “Their hard work has paid off with a major victory over Right to Work.”
Missouri, like many others around the country, has become a Right to Work battleground since the 2016 general election. After years without support or majority power, a Republican sweep gave politicians the chance to take charge and implement new legislation.
Within weeks of signing the bill in early 2017, critics announced plans for a referendum petition. Organizers were given roughly three months to meet a goal of 90,000 signatures. During this time, proponents of Right to Work launched their own campaigns, including legal attacks, as well. The petition was frozen in court several times. A ruling which deemed the petition’s language was misleading was later overturned by higher courts.
Despite the opposition’s best efforts, workers and union members were successful.
Right to Work is a collection of rules, compiled into one bill, which change requirements on union membership. Members of unionized industries would no longer have to join a union or pay dues, yet receive full benefits and coverage.
This system is meant to free up money normally spent on bargaining, allowing business owners to invest it back into their company, create jobs and help industries grow. Lower labor costs also make them a more competitive option over businesses elsewhere. But the reality is far different.
States with Right to Work laws see low wages, long hours and overall poor quality of life for workers. The money saved fails to trickle down, slowing industry growth to a crawl. Without financial support, unions collapse.
“Right to Work, in any form, must be stopped,” said Dalton. “This is a major step forward, and an example for citizens everywhere to see change is possible if they make their voices heard.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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