With the vote dangerously close to being rescheduled from November mid-terms to August primaries, where turnout is historically lowest, union supporters are putting pressure on legislators to do the right thing.
“The people of Missouri have spoken, and now their legislators are refusing to listen,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Ohio. “This is nothing but an underhanded tactic to suppress voters and push Right to Work. The people are energized, they’ll be victorious in the end.”
Prior to the 8-4 vote along partisan lines, lobbyists and Right to Work supporters launched campaigns to urge the committee to change the date.
“Every day that goes by that our economic developers in this state cannot advertise Missouri as a Right to Work state prevents us from being able to take advantage of the Right to Work benefits,” said Ray McCarty of the business-lobbying group Associated Industries of Missouri.
Rep. Doug Beck (D-Affton), a union member, hit back against McCarty’s claim shortly after.
“I would think that a governor who isn’t under indictment is more important than Right to Work for companies coming to this state,” said Rep. Beck.
Gov. Eric Greitens is currently facing felony charges related to an extramarital affair and campaign fundraising.
The latest back and forth is just another volley in the long, contentious battle over Right to Work. On Feb. 4, 2017, Gov. Greitens enacted Right to Work in Missouri despite criticism from voters and politicians alike. Within weeks, labor groups across the state had organized a seldom-used tactic to freeze the bill by creating a referendum petition.
Efforts to teach voters on the bill’s damaging effects to business led to an overwhelming turn out, with petitioners collecting 310,567 signatures. Only 90,000 were required for a successful referendum.
After a year of back and forth between both sides, Re. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) announced her plans to create legislation that would reschedule the state’s upcoming referendum vote from November’s midterms to the August primaries.
It’s a move that labor supporters have been speaking out against from the beginning.
“Missouri’s legislators are playing games, but voters are smarter than that,” said Dalton. “They can change the date, but whether it’s August or November, they can’t save Right to Work.
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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