Vote No on Missouri Prop A Referendum in August Primary: Ballot Language Explained
Posted on August 1st, 2018 by Zane Cagle
“Right to Work” is a Positive Spin Label for a Bad Law
Unions have done great things for workers since their conception. When we all work together, we are more successful–it’s the basic premise of democracy and unions. We are better, together. Unions have historically been the reason that great safety strides have been made for workers in unions and non-union members. Many of the abuses of workers that happen to workers in large business have been more fairly addressed through union work.
The “Right-To-Work” is language that sounds positive. If you aren’t familiar with the referendum, you may be fooled into thinking this is a good idea for the working person. You would be wrong.
You may not work in an industry that has unions. As an attorney, there is no union for me to join. I don’t work in an industry where my employer has to implement procedures for me to be safe, but many, many workers (most) do work in environments that they cannot directly control except through collective work of a union. I do work with many union members in the fields of carpentry, masons, coal miners and quarry workers. It is absurd the abuses that can occur when unions are dissolved, yet, there is this movement to do away with unions. The reason we all have better working conditions (compared to the industrial revolution before unions) is because of the very work of unions. The idea of employees or any peoples banding together for more safe, positive conditions is a win.
We have heard a lot in Missouri and across the country about Right to Work. This August 7, 2018, the Missouri Proposition A, Right to Work Referendum (2018) is on the ballot as an “approve” or “veto referendum”.
Actual Language on the Ballet
The language on the ballet is a bit confusing, thus we’ve included a sample ballot. It is a referendum order by Petition. Senate Bill 19 or “Right-to-Work” was passed by the Missouri General Assembly in 2017 which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rata (fair-share); make any activity….and so on and so on….. Union member have come out in direct opposition to this bill. Individual workers who have enjoyed the benefits of unions all of their lives realize the great benefits of unions. First and foremost, unions protect workers and make working conditions safer. By and large, this is the most important bi-product of unions that we see on a daily basis. Unions have been the primary reason that we have 40 hour work weeks, over time pay, vacation pay, benefits and the enforcement of safety. Maybe you don’t work in a field where this is critical. However, unions continuing to have authority to organize and promote better working conditions for ALL workers is critical to Missouri workers.
Maybe you are self-employed and don’t feel like unions are important. But, you’re missing the point of what unions have done and do for ALL workers of every kind. They are the reason we have 40 hour work weeks, overtime, compensation for injuries and the biggest issue, safer working environments! As a lawyer, I have professional organizations that can ban together to advocate; but that is very different from the cement masons or Pipefitters–they are thousands of individuals that can be literally and figuratively run over by large corporations if not for their union representation.
This bill is a powerful attempt by big business to disband the power or unions.
When We Work Together, Good Things Happen
In the spirit of union work and the union members I have represented over time, I know that when we all work together, we accomplish better things. We do not want this law to added to the Missouri books that would disadvantage the workers of Missouri.
We fully, 100% support the veto referendum of the Right-to-Work in Missouri and do not adopt the Right-to-Work in Missouri. Unions like any other organizations are not perfect, but to ignore the huge gains they have made for American workers is asinine and ridiculous. Unions are groups of workers who work together so they can have a voice in industries focused on the profits over people. Certainly, industry has to focus on profits but our ancestors lived through those abuses while they fought for some basic worker rights.
Not to Over Use a Good Slogan, But We Are Better Together
Vote for families in Missouri and vote No on Proposition A this coming Tuesday, August 7, 2018.