Missourians sent a clear message to their state lawmakers Tuesday by overwhelmingly voting to overturn the anti-worker right-to-work law by a 2-1 margin. Union supporters in the state worked extremely hard the past year educating voters on the negative impact right-to-work will have on everyone in the state, not just union workers.
“Working Families across Missouri and this nation won tonight,” said International President Bob Martinez. “I want to especially thank all of the dedicated IAM members who gave their time and talent to this winning effort. The Machinists Union is proud of their efforts to educate the public not only about this unnecessary anti-worker law, but the value that labor unions play in the great state of Missouri.”
“On behalf of the IAM Midwest Territory, I would like to congratulate our sisters and brothers throughout the entire state of Missouri,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “Today’s victory was no easy feat. It comes on the backs of thousands of working men and women who one day decided – ‘no more.’ No more will I work for wages barely high enough to keep the lights on. No more will I yield myself to years of back-breaking labor with no decent and affordable health care. No more will I stand idly by or lower my voice in the face of indecency or unfairness for fear of being retaliated against or losing my job. Those workers decided to go union. And since 1978, corporations, politicians and outside special interests in the state of Missouri have worked to undermine that decision. They’ve tried to turn back the clock. But with each attempt, working families in Missouri have fought back with a resounding ‘No!” Today was no different.
“Thank you to the IAM members who have dedicated countless hours, days, months and years to this fight. You are the real winners. You are the real Fighting Machinists. Your union couldn’t be more proud. We now turn our focus to November. This fight is far from over.”
“We defeated Right to Work in ’78. We defeated it in ‘15. And we defeated it again today,” said IAM Local 778 Directing Business Representative Joe Capra. “IAM members throughout the state of Missouri should be proud of all their hard work. Today would not have been possible without them. Thank you to IAM International President Bob Martinez, General Vice President Phil Gruber, and the entire IAM Executive Council for their support, much-needed resources and boots on the ground.”
“It’s about time the middle class stood up and told these crooked politicians enough is enough. We’re tired of it,” said IAM District 837 Directing Business Representative Steve McDerman. “Today is a great day in the state of Missouri. But we’re not done. We must get out the vote again this November. We must show politicians who vote and pass legislation aimed at hurting workers that the working people of Missouri don’t forget. We’re going to vote these crooks out this November.”
“This is a great win not only for all of Missouri’s working families, but for all working families across our great country,” said IAM District 9 Directing Business Representative Mark Conner. “This is a clear message to out-of-state corporate interests and billionaires that elections can no longer be bought, and that hard-working middle-class families are not going to roll over and let them strip away the wages and benefits that we work so hard for and deserve. This vote should show all working families across the country that when working families come together and express their opinion at the ballot box, it does make a difference. It’s now time for phase 4 of our campaign: to get working families to the polls in November and vote to change the structure of the Missouri Legislature.”