JEFFERSON CITY — By a vote of 22-10, Senate Democrats were successful in sustaining the governor’s veto of House Bill 1891, legislation that would have made it more difficult to pay union dues. Last night, and into the early hours of Friday morning, Senate Republicans, who hold a super majority, challenged the ability of workers to organize – a cornerstone of democracy. Unions have been targets of the Majority Caucus for decades. Despite an organized effort to dismantle unions, common sense prevailed and the Minority Caucus, with bipartisan support, upheld the governor’s veto, maintaining its commitment to protecting middle class workers.
Assistant Minority Leader Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors), and also a retired member of the Heat and Frost Insulators Local #1, spoke passionately during the floor debate. She evoked emotion about being the first woman in her Local, something unlikely to have happened without union apprenticeships. She told stories of her safety trainings, and how unions already separate voluntary political contributions from union dues that support collective bargaining and representation.
“Workers are the backbone of this nation, and an organized workforce only contributes to better safety and doing it right the first time,” said Walsh. “These attacks on the middle class are not being demanded from Missouri businesses, workers, or constituents. This is just another example of the Majority Caucus attempting to appease well-funded special interests.”
Senate Minority Leader Joseph Keaveny (D-St. Louis) stated, “While I am profoundly disappointed that a highly skilled workforce is under attack in Missouri, I am very proud of Senator Walsh, all of my caucus, and those members on the other side of the aisle who stood with workers and sustained the governor’s veto.”