October 2017
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Also In This Issue NAFTA=TPP?
Trump tweaks do little for American workers read_more

Outlawing PLAs
In Florida, keeping labor peace now illegal read_more

Q&A with IST Cooper
He talks organizing,
youth and politics read_more

After the Flood
IBEW Houston members rebuild, start over
after Harvey read_more

Quick Thinking
First aid saves a life of member at union meeting read_more

It's No Joke
'We're from the I.O. and we're here to help' read_more

Fee Payers Plan for 2018 read_more

North of 49°
For Working Families,
a Win in British Columbia read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Une victoire pour les travailleurs en
Colombie-Britannique read_more






  Cover Photo

The Case against Right-to-Work

One of the first actions by the GOP-dominated Missouri legislature and the newly-elected Republican governor this year was to pass and sign into law a right-to-work bill in February.

That didn't settle the issue, however. Working families had a way to fight back.

With the IBEW and its allies leading the way, right-to-work opponents have collected enough signatures to force a statewide referendum on the issue in November 2018.

Organizers said they submitted nearly 311,000 signatures on petitions to the Missouri Secretary of State's office on Aug. 18. Approximately 100,000 were needed. Right-to-work advocates are expected to contest them, but with so many signatures, those leading the referendum effort are confident they have enough of a cushion to successfully fight back against those efforts.

The right-to-work law had been scheduled to take effect on Aug. 28, but Jay Aschroft, the state's Republican secretary of state, said it couldn't be enforced after the signatures were submitted. Its fate now rests on the upcoming referendum.

"I feel relieved that we've made it past the first hurdle," Missouri political director and former Kansas City Local 124 president Rudy Chavez said. "I think it gets tougher as this goes on. This was just securing signatures from registered voters. Now, you have to persuade them. You have to make your case."

Right-to-work laws allow employees to opt out of paying union membership dues, even when they enjoy the benefits of a union contract. They undercut wages and benefits throughout a state, including union and nonunion workers alike. Workers earn an average of about $6,000 less per year in states with a right-to-work law than in states without one.

Right-to-work laws have long been popular in the South and parts of the West, but they made a resurgence in the Midwest in recent years as Republicans took control of more state legislatures. Missouri was the 28th state to adopt such a law and the fifth since 2012.

Like much of the Midwest, Missouri's economy was hurt by a decline in manufacturing, but earlier this year, wallethub.com ranked it as having the 24th best economy among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. That was higher than any of the eight states bordering it, seven of which have right-to-work laws. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson: The Toughest Job We Have read_more
Cooper: Our Kind of Town read_more

TransitionsArlie Franklin Heald read_more

Circuits#Success: How to Make i
t as a Signatory Contractor;
Powerhouse IBEW
Charity Helps Tenn. Kids Stock up for School;
IBEW Telecom Grads:
'At the Forefront of
Industry Change';
Preserving IBEW Voices
for Posterity;
Hung Up on Fall Protection, Japanese Utilities Call
IBEW for a Lifeline read_more

LettersTime for Action?;
Proud of the Pope read_more

In Memoriam July 2017 read_more
August 2017 read_more

Who We AreFor Four Decades,
Chicago Local Brings
Sights and Sounds of Legendary Music Show read_more


Change of Address