Newly released details of last week’s Missouri House gathering have revealed that the proposed plans to reschedule the upcoming vote on a state-wide Right to Work bill was approved and passed along to the Senate for final voting and implementation.
The motion, set forth in March by Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston), would move the referendum vote from November’s midterm elections to August primaries.
Right to Work opponents cite a decade of low turnout in primaries as motivation for the move.
“I think an issue this big needs to be voted on by as many people as we possibly can in our state,” said Rep. Doug Beck (D-St. Louise).
A referendum vote was initiated August 2017 after critics of Right to Work and union advocates gathered over 300,000 signatures calling for the decision to be made by voters. The petition began shortly after Gov. Eric Greitens signed the statewide Right to Work law in February 2017, freezing it before it could be fully implemented.
Right to Work in the state has little support outside of the GOP majority in the House and Senate.
“If you’re confident the people love what you’ve created, it stands to reason you wouldn’t be scared of higher voter turnout,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Ohio. “Missouri’s GOP knows what the people want, but they’re more interested in fixing the rules for their business owning donors.”
A referendum vote is a seldom used tactic which allows constituents to affectively veto decisions made by representatives. Once initiated, it enters a pre-determined window in which organizers inform the public and collect signatures declaring support for a vote.
Despite multiple holdups in court, during which organizers were barred from collecting signatures, the petition had gathered over three times what was needed to call a vote.
Right to Work bans unions from making membership and due payment a requirement for workers. Supporters of the legislation claim the money business owners save on union bargaining leads to job growth and investment in employee welfare, making the state more attractive to outside business.
However, research on states with established Right to Work laws has concluded the opposite to be true. The money saved stays in the hands of business owners as wages shrink and industries grow at a snail’s pace compared to unionized economies. Workers are left in an overall worse place as unions, along with their protections and benefits, disappear.
“If the vote is moved to August it’s time to make this primary’s turnout one for the records,” said Dalton. “It’s no longer a simple matter of combatting a bad law, it’s about showing how workers won’t fall for political tricks.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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