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Missouri voters defeat right-to-work law

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

Missouri voters have nixed the state’s right-to-work law in a ballot referendum on August 7, 2018. Of the 1,389,316 Missourians who cast their ballot on the question of whether Senate Bill 19 should stay on the books, only 452,075 voted that it should be upheld, while 937,241 voted to repeal it.

The legislation, which was on hold until voters determined its fate during the election, would have barred employers from requiring that employees become, remain, or refrain from becoming a member of a union, or pay dues or other charges required of union members, as a condition of employment.

S.B. 19 was signed by the Missouri governor on February 7, 2017; it would have been effective August 28, 217. But the bill’s opponents led a successful signature drive to get the measure placed on the ballot as a veto referendum.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called what happened in Missouri “the latest sign of a true groundswell.” He said the vote was “the latest act of working people changing a rigged system that for decades has been favoring corporations, the mega wealthy and the privileged few.”

Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis said the vote to defeat Missouri’s right-to-work law is “a truly historic moment.”