By the number of Vote No on Proposition A signs and commercials, you would think that at least half of the people must have union jobs. So I Googled and found, according the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this note worthy fact. Union membership in Missouri is approximately, 226,000 workers which is 8.7% of the total work force plus another 39,000 workers who have no affiliation with the union but are forced to pay union dues in the form of fees in order to stay employed. It has been estimated that 34% of that union membership, approximately 75,000 workers do not agree with the political ideology that the union spends their dues on. Despite all the propaganda you hear from the unions the fundamental question that fair minded citizens of Missouri are being asked to consider is should a worker be required to pay dues or fees to a union in order to get and keep a job. It does not get rid of unions, but the worker has the right to chose to give the money to a union that spends their money in a manner consistent with their values.
Money, as always in political issues, is what is at stake. YES advocates have cash contributions of $5,060,141.86 while the NO advocates have raised $15,755,026.93. It should not be a surprise that $4,096,994 came from the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, and Carpenters unions. Obviously, the unions have a lot at stake as well as democrat politicians. From 2008 - 2016, unions have funneled $5.6 billion into Democrat coffers with the bulk going to campaign funds. These funds elect politicians that support abortion, Planned Parenthood, high taxes, unnecessary business regulations, and gun confiscation.
Unions supported every politician that voted for Obamacare knowing that the employer paid health insurance they had fought for would end up being taxed at a 40% rate, commonly known as the Cadillac tax scheduled for 2020. The United Mine Workers were also thrown under the bus, by those same politicians who didn’t want coal to provide electricity.
Union money supported the politicians that have been exporting your jobs out of the country via NAFTA. Missouri lost Zenith a large respected television brand to foreign competition. Closer to home Monroe City was hit with the closing of Dye Makers which supplied parts for the auto industry. Small towns throughout rural Missouri once had shoe factories, mines, and brick factories, now they’re in Mexico, Canada and China. That $5.6 billion of union dues bought political influence with Democrats. Meanwhile, national union officials haven’t lost a dime or a job while hundreds of thousands of union workers have lost their jobs.
Some of you might remember when Southwestern Bell, now AT&T, closed down business offices and local and long distance operators in towns like Moberly, Hannibal, Mexico and other rural communities around the state and were shipped to KC or St. Louis. Rural jobs were sacrificed to save city jobs with the explicit approval of union leadership. I was a member of the Communication Workers of America for 15 years and a member of management for 15 years so I have seen both sides of the fence.
I was laid off twice in the 70’s not because of ability but because of union negotiated seniority rules. I walked the picket line in the 70’s and again in the 80’s. During subsequent contracts union dues increased from a flat rate monthly to a couple of hours of pay per month, so every time I got a pay raise so did the union. It took years of meager pay raises to recover from the lost wages during strikes and of course there was no strike fund for the members. That 5.6 billion dollars would make a great strike fund that would help the rank and file rather than being rolled into political campaigns.
A vote YES for Proposition A will make unions more accountable to its membership and send a message that rural Missouri is tired of getting the shaft. Even the Supreme Court agrees that forced union dues is a violation of your 1st amendment right to freedom of association. You, the nearly 90% of the workforce who doesn’t have to pay union dues gets to decide what is fair.