JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Opponents of right-to-work picked up another win on Thursday as the Missouri Supreme Court denied the transfer of two pending cases seeking to block a referendum and proposed ballot initiative from landing on the November 2018 ballot.
The Supreme Court denied the requests to take up the cases from the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District, who decided in July to overturn a lower court decision that stated the language of the proposed ballot initiative seeking to scrap the new law passed by the Missouri General Assembly this year was unfair and insufficient.
In effect, the Supreme Court’s decision signals the end of any judicial attempt in these cases, meaning that the Court of Appeals’ decision to uphold the ballot language stands.
That means that the union-led attempt to dump the Show-Me State’s new right-to-work law has overcome another hurdle. They still face one more with their initiative petition signatures, which is still currently being verified through the Secretary of State’s Office and the counties the signatures were collected in.
It seems unlikely that they will have fewer signatures than needed, though, as the labor unions amassed more than 300,000 signatures to triple the required number.
Right-to-work supporters could still potentially look for other legal avenues to block the referendum, but for now, the battle in the courts for right-to-work seems to have come to an end.
Labor union groups and opponents of right-to-work touted the win as a victory over out of state billionaires, saying it’s another step in giving Missourians the chance to voice their opinion on right-to-work.
“Right to work, which is wrong for Missouri, is a ploy orchestrated by greedy CEOs that will lead to lower wages, a decline in benefits, and an increase in workplace injuries and deaths for all of Missouri working families and gives government the ability to reach into the rights of employers to run their businesses as they see fit, something that the far right wing contradicts themselves on,” Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis said. “This court ruling is a victory for the middle class and hard-working Missourians all across the state. It is unfortunate that politicians in Jefferson City, and their billionaire buddies, are trying to subvert the will of the people, by rewarding their greedy political donors”.
“It is time for politicians to listen to their constituents and allow the democratic process to play out. It is time for the people to have their voices heard and for the politicians to listen.”
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.