We Are MO Statewide Day of Action

Article by Labor-Tribune Editor Tim Rowden and republished with permission
All photos by Labor-Tribune, and used with permission

Teamed up to collect signatures in Troy.   Local 18 President Mike Weber (right) helps an area resident sign the petition. Also collecting signatures (center left) Bricklayers Local 1 Business Representative Johnny Walker and Local 18 Vice President Tim Mueller. – Labor Tribune photo

Union members and workers throughout the state participated in We Are Missouri’s statewide drive-thru Day of Action June 10 to sign the petition to place so-called “right-to-work (for less)” on the ballot so voters – not politicians – have the final say about legislation that hurts Missouri’s workers, their families, and our communities.

The anti-worker law, passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Eric Greitens earlier this year, is scheduled to become law on Aug. 28. However, if enough signatures from registered voters are collected and verified, the legislation can’t take effect until after a state-wide vote in 2018 to accept or reject the law.

BRICKLAYERS LOCAL 1 President and Field Representative Mike Fox assists an area resident with signing the petition in Troy, Missouri as Laborers Local 110 member Aaron Hemmann looks on. – Labor Tribune photo

The signing events held on union hall parking lots and public locations throughout the state, made signing the petition quick and easy. Workers and registered Missouri voters turned out in droves to sign the petition and make their voices heard.

“Missouri workers and voters see through the lie of ‘right-to-work’ and the corporate interests that back this destructive legislation,” said Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “It’s not about increasing worker freedom; it’s about attacking the wages and negotiating power of Missouri’s workforce, and lowering the wages of every worker in Missouri. We’re not going to stand for it, and Missouri voters are making that message loud and clear.”

CWA LOCAL 6300 members (from left) Mike Lavoie, Mike Songer, Floyd Bell and Ron Munford, collected signatures outside the union hall in Maryland Heights, servicing a steady stream of workers and Missouri voters eager to put the repeal of “right-to-work” on the ballot. – Labor Tribune photo

Unions and allies from all corners of the state participated in the drive-thru signing events.

UFCW Local 655, the state’s largest private-sector local union, based in St. Louis, saw a steady stream of union members and voters pouring through their drive-thru event in Ballwin.

“The people of Missouri didn’t vote for politicians to go to Jefferson City and expand government and then lower wages and benefits for all workers,” said UFCW Local 655 President David Cook. “Right-to-work (for less) is more government and a distraction from real issues like job creation, improving schools, and fixing our roads and bridges.

UFCW LOCAL 655 PUBLICIZED that signing of the Citizens Petition signing was available to the public, Local 655 had signs along busy Manchester Road, where Local 655 Business Reps Alex Lange (left) and Matt Vitale left no doubt what the petitions were all about. – Labor Tribune photo

“Local 655 volunteers found enthusiastic support from residents who want a chance to decide for themselves whether or not to pass a law that will drastically, and negatively, impact working families in Missouri, whether or not they are union members, because all workers will be hurt by this law,” Cook added.

Below are some additional photos from the day’s events, and you can view the rest in the Labor-Tribune.

BRICKLAYERS' ADC OF EASTERN MISSOURI Secretary-Treasurer John Hopkin assists an area resident who stopped to sign the petition in downtown St. Louis prior to the Cardinal's game, as  Bricklayers' ADC Director Brian Jennewein and Bricklayers' Local 1 Field Representative Mark Savage look on and chat with passersby about the issue. – Labor Tribune photo

LABORERS LOCAL 110 member Aaron Hemmann gets a signature from an area resident who happened by in his electronic scooter along Hwy. 47 in Troy. – Labor Tribune photo