Missourians Get Nearly Triple the Needed Signatures for November Right to Work Repeal Referendum

Extremists and outside interests representing big corporations rammed through a "right to work" bill against the will of the people of the state. The bill was signed into law by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in February. Today, Missourians spoke up loudly and, pending the certification process, a ballot referendum on right to work will appear on the November 2018 ballot.

In order to get on the ballot, supporters must gather some 107,510 signatures in six of eight congressional districts. Hundreds of Missourians showed up to cheer along campaign representatives, who delivered 163 boxes filled with 57,277 pages, containing 310,567 signatures, nearly three times the required amount. All of the state's 115 counties were represented, and the numbers were sufficient to qualify in all eight congressional districts.

Here is what Missouri's working people said about right to work and the referendum:

"Right to work is wrong. It's wrong for Missouri workers. It's wrong for Missouri families. It's time for Gov. Greitens and extreme politicians to stop doing the bidding of their dark money donors and begin fighting for Missouri families," said Lori Giannini, a 12-year grocery clerk at Schnucks from St. Charles County.

"This referendum will guarantee that Missouri employers and their employees can work together in the best interests of their businesses without government interference," said Dennis Palmer, a small business owner from Columbia.

"Extreme politicians and dark money interests may not like it but the facts are the facts. Workers in right to work states make $681 dollars less per month than workers in non-right to work states and the chances of being killed on the job is 49% higher in right to work states," said Quiema Spencer, a master pipe fitter from Kansas City.

"We've come together and put in countless hours gathering signatures from voters at festivals, community events, door-to-door canvasses, parades—you name it," said Bobby Dicken, an electrician from Butler County. "These folks who've signed the petition want their voices to be heard—they want voters—not politicians—to make the final decision on whether so-called right to work becomes law in Missouri."

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Reposted from the AFL-CIO

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work