Anti-Worker Legislation Fails in Mo.
May 22, 2014
The 2014 legislative session in Missouri ended May 16 with the defeat of two major anti-labor bills long sought after by anti-worker special interests.
Outgoing House Speaker Tim Jones made right-to-work-for-less and paycheck deception his top legislative priorities at the beginning of the year. He received strong support from Washington, D.C. – based right-wing organizations like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and the Koch brothers-funded FreedomWorks, which organized a lobbying campaign in support of the legislation.
Right-to-work fell short in April, when lawmakers failed to garner enough votes to send their bill – which would have placed the question on the ballot for voters – to the state Senate.
“Huge win for working families,” House Minority Leader (and St. Louis Local 1 member) Jacob Hummel tweeted after it failed. “They couldn't get a constitutional majority to move right-to-work out of the House!”
Nineteen members of the House Republican caucus broke with their party over the bill, including GOP Rep. Anne Zerr.
“As a Republican and pro-business, you might think that I would be anti-labor, but you know what? Working with labor is good business,” she told attendees at a rally against right-to-work.
Paycheck deception – which restricts the ability of public-sector unions to use dues money for political purposes – failed after the Senate declined to take up the bill, which was passed in the house.
Pro-working family activists credit the strong grassroots mobilization by the Missouri labor movement and its allies – including rallies and phone calls to lawmakers – in helping to defeat Jones’ legislation.
As St. Louis Local 1’s blog Powercast wrote:
While numerous groups, unions, activists, etc. worked extremely hard to defend Missouri’s middle-class against these attacks it was the thousands of working folks who took the time to call their representatives, write their senators and attend meetings and rallies that turned the tide this year.
Says International President Edwin D. Hill:
Missouri is a reminder that an active and engaged union membership can work together to beat back the big money special interests and extremist ideologues that are waging a war on the middle class in this country.