Influence of Organized Labor Gets Big Test in Missouri Vote

Labor News

People opposing Proposition A listen to a speaker during a rally in Kansas City, Missouri. Missouri votes Tuesday on a right-to-work law, a voter referendum seeking to ban compulsory union fees in all private-sector workplaces. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Reprinted from The New York Times by The Associated Press on August 4, 2018.

On the heels of a US Supreme Court ruling weakening public-sector unions, labor’s clout is being put to a new test by a voter referendum in Missouri over whether the state should ban compulsory union fees in all private-sector workplaces.

The statewide vote in Tuesday’s primary on a so-called right-to-work law could be a watershed moment for unions, if they can halt what has been a steady erosion of strength in states with historically deep-rooted support.

“The timing of this is essential. I think everyone wants to write the labor movement’s obituary,” national AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler said. But “it’s going to energize and activate us and show that we fight back.” …

NY Times 8/4

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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