National education and labor news

Unions seek to overturn Missouri’s right-to-work law

A bid to put Missouri’s new anti-union right-to-work law to a vote of the people was temporarily scuttled on Feb. 21 when the Republican state attorney general rejected the petition because parts of the proposal were not properly punctuated and underlined.

While Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis said a new version will be submitted, the rejection means it could be another 15 days before the unions can begin collecting the roughly 90,000 signatures necessary by Aug. 28 — the date Missouri’s right-to-work law is scheduled to take effect — to place it on the 2018 general election ballot. 

Hours after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed the new right-to-work bill into law on Feb. 6, the unions, along with the Missouri NAACP, struck back with a petition to overturn the law via public referendum. Missouri’s referendum process to overturn legislation hasn’t been attempted in 35 years.

If the effort fails, Missouri will become the 28th state that allows employees in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying unions for the cost of representation.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 21

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