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Labor Union Members Rally At The Mo. Capitol, Call On Lawmakers To Defeat "Anti-Worker" Bills

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Labor union members from across Missouri descended on the State Capitol today, hoping to convince lawmakers to defeat bills they say are anti-worker.

The Missouri House and Senate have both passed so-called “paycheck protection” bills, HB 64 and SB 29, which are now awaiting further actions in each chamber.  The measures would bar public employee unions from automatically deducting dues from workers’ paychecks without written consent.  Mike Lewis of theMissouri AFL-CIOspoke against the bills at a rally today outside the Capitol.

“Our fight against paycheck deception is part of a long struggle, but it’s a struggle to get you full collective bargaining rights like you should have," Lewis said.

Brooks Sunkett also addressed the crowd of around 200 on the South Lawn of the Missouri Capitol.  He is theCommunications Workers of America’sVice President for the Public Sector.

“We need to fight back for worker’s rights," Sunkett said.  "We need to build community groups with taxpayers, civil rights groups, with women’s rights groups, with environmentalists, until we have justice, not only for public workers, but for private sector workers.”

Union leaders also spoke out against so-called "right to work" legislation -- several bills that would, quote, "bar employers from requiring employees to engage in or cease engaging in certain labor practices" have received committee hearings in both chambers but have yet to be voted on.   In addition, union leaders today voiced support for expanding Medicaid, which was rejected again by the Missouri House this week.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.