MO Right to Work supporters object to deceptive proposed constitutional amendment language approved by former Secretary of State
St. Louis, MO (May 24, 2017) – A group of Missouri workers have a hearing today in their lawsuit challenging the deceptive ballot language on a set of constitutional amendments that would effectively repeal Missouri’s popular new Right to Work law. The three Missourians are represented by a staff attorney from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Seeing the writing on the wall for passage of a Missouri state Right to Work law making union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary, Mike Louis, the Missouri AFL-CIO’s top official, submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State ten proposed amendments to the state constitution. Each of the proposals seek to overturn Missouri’s Right to Work law enacted in February.
The workers’ lawsuit challenges the summary statements and ballot language for the amendments as confusing and misleading. The language was approved by outgoing Secretary of State Jason Kander who ran a failed U.S. Senate campaign that was funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars in union contributions. He approved the ballot language just hours before vacating office, ignoring the fact that none of the petitions even mentioned the Right to Work law that they are designed to nullify. The amendments would appear on the 2018 ballot if union organizers obtain a sufficient number of signatures.
If any of the Big Labor-backed constitutional amendments are put on the ballot and approved by the voters, they would repeal the new Right to Work law and block future passage of any state legislation to protect workers from mandatory union fees. Any future attempt to pass Right to Work would first require another amendment of the state constitution.
In late March, in response to the lawsuit filed by three pro-Right to Work employees with free legal representation provided by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Judge Beetem of the Cole County Circuit court ruled that the proposed language was “unfair and insufficient.” He ordered that the ballot language be rewritten to be more balanced and clearly reflect that the proposed constitutional amendments would repeal Right to Work in Missouri.
The workers then filed a technical appeal so that they can defend the Circuit Court’s decision from union lawyers’ efforts to overturn it and reinstate the misleading language. The hearing in the appeal will be in the Western Division of the Missouri Court of Appeals’ courthouse in Kansas City at 1:30 p.m. Central Time.
“Big Labor continues to resort to any tactic in an attempt to block Missouri’s new Right to Work law,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Big Labor knows that the citizens of Missouri believe it is wrong for an employee to be fired simply for refusing to pay union dues or fees to a union boss. That’s why the union bosses are so intent on confusing voters about their goal of restoring their forced dues powers.”
The workers have also filed a lawsuit opposing the language proposed for a Right to Work law repeal referendum filed by the AFL-CIO. That lawsuit alleges that the approved language of the repeal referendum, which would put Missouri’s Right to Work law on hold pending a statewide vote, amazingly, includes grammatical errors and does not meet the statutory requirements that govern the process.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.