Is Missouri ‘Right-to-Work’ Repeal Just the Beginning for Big Labor?

is missouri right to work repeal just the beginning for big labor
Is Missouri 'Right-to-Work' Repeal Just the Beginning for Big Labor?

“Earth-shaking,” “devastating” and “historic” were just some of the adjectives Missouri Republicans used to describe the results Tuesday night of the landslide vote to overturn the state’s recently passed right-to-work law.

Right-to-work is the law so hated by organized labor that prevents workers from being forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

The “overturn” vote on the Proposition A initiative, for which 66 percent of voters opted, is the first time anywhere that right-to-work has been repealed by popular vote.  Given those results, there are increasing signs that unions will attempt to use the initiative and referendum process for similar repeal movements in the other 27 states with right-to-work laws.

 “If you want to see our power on display, look what’s going on in Missouri right now,” AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka told reporters a week before the vote.

The union chief predicted “We’re going to win.  The people don’t want to go in that direction.  The legislature and the now-ex-governor ignored the interests and voices of working people.  Quite frankly, they listened to the whispers of a few right-wing corporate billionaires and they jammed through a wrong-headed right-to-work law.”

With 100,000 signatures required to qualify the measure for the ballot, union members turned in a whopping 310,000.  In Trumka’s words, union members were out “street-by-street, mobilizing, person-to-person showing our passion for our issue.”

Supporters of right-to-work argued that it attracts business and new jobs to states.  But they could never come near the estimated $15 million spent by the “overturn” forces.  Hard-hitting labor-funded radio spots featured actor John Goodman, a native Missourian, saying right-to-work is “all about corporate greed.”

In discussing defeat, right-to-work proponents made the case that it was less about the issue than it was about the Republican governor who signed it into law in 2017: Eric Greitens, who was later forced to resign in disgrace following revelations of scandal and an extramarital affair.

“The entire [pro-right-to-work] effort was doomed before it began,” former state House Speaker Tim Jones told Newsmax.

“The collapse of the pro-right-to-work campaign was a casualty of Missouri’s resigned governor,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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