MO Voters Overwhelmingly Vote “NO” on Right-To-Work
In a huge victory for workers and their unions, Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected right-to-work by a 2-to-1 margin by voting against it with a “no” vote in a referendum this summer. The landslide victory proves, once again, that when people are given the opportunity to vote on whether or not they support right-to-work legislation, they choose to vote against it.
“When you looked up and down the streets in my neighborhood you saw ‘Vote NO on Prop A’ signs everywhere. And not all of these were union homes,” says Allan Bathon, president of Local 335. “People understand what’s at stake here so I was pretty confident that it was going to get voted down.”
Ohio voters delivered a huge defeat to anti-worker forces when they, too, rejected right-to-work in a 2011 referendum.
The vote in Missouri proves that most voters, Republican and Democrat, union member and not, understand the value that a strong labor movement brings to the nation. And, when given a chance to vote on right-to-work, it is rejected.
The way it works in Missouri, the legislature can bring the issue up again in the next legislative session. “We’re hoping we defeated it soundly enough so that they’ll be leery of bringing it up again any time soon,” Bathon says.
The crushing defeat of right-to-work in Missouri stands in direct opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME earlier this summer.
The fight against MO Proposition A began in 2017 when now disgraced former Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state. The state’s unions moved quickly to collect more than 300,000 signatures to place a veto referendum on the 2018 ballot. Opponents attempted to place a pro right-to-work referendum on the ballot but were unable to do so.
Union leaders believe that the Missouri vote will help halt efforts to enact the law nationally by creating a groundswell of worker-led activism, beginning in the Midwest.
Local 335 members played their part in turning back an attack on workers and their unions. Left to right: Local 335 President Allan Bathon, E-Board member and past President Tom Schneider, and Financial Secretary Bill McDonald.