A Win for Labor Unions in Missouri
Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected a right-to-work law Tuesday that would have banned unions from collecting mandatory dues. SMART local unions and SMART International dispatched representatives to help Local Union 36 convince Missouri voters to reject the right-to-work initiative. The battle, which attracted big money on both sides, provided a much-needed boost for organized labor after a series of legal and political losses.
The Missouri right-to-work vote was a hot topic of discussion at the SMART Annual Business Agents’ Conference this week in Hollywood, Florida. SMART General President Joseph Sellers Jr. stressed the importance of this issue to all unions and commended the efforts of the SMART representatives who went to Missouri.
The GOP-controlled state legislature passed the anti-union law in 2017, but labor organizations and Democrats blocked its enactment and collected enough signatures to force Tuesday's public vote.
Tuesday's win for unions came after a major blow in June when the Supreme Court's conservative majority ruled 5 to 4 that public sector unions cannot collect fees from non-members to help defray the costs of collective bargaining. The court ruled that those fees, permitted under a 1977 high court decision, violate the free speech rights of those who do not want to contribute.
Tuesday's vote in Missouri, which has grown increasingly Republican, could give labor groups fresh momentum heading into November's general election, where their political strength will be tested again. For more on this topic…