Following Huge Protest in Missouri, Senators drop Right to Work Bill
On Friday, March 11, a crowd of almost 5,000 people packed St. Louis' Kiener Plaza to stand up against bills in the Missouri Legislature that would hurt working families, including Right-to-Work-for-Less legislation (SB 1), Minimum Wage Repeal (HB 61 and SB 110), and the Child Labor Repeal (SB 222). Carpenters, laborers, pipefitters, boilermakers, teachers, autoworkers, teamsters, janitors, nurses, policemen, glaziers, machinists, electricians, insulators- just about every local in the St. Louis metropolitan area was represented at this rally.
"We-Are-One" chants recurred throughout the event- before, after and during almost every speaker. Speakers voiced their opposition to the attacks on the middle class, tax breaks for the wealthy, tax incentives for corporations and legislators who are overturning the will of the voters.
Chant leaders JwJ St. Louis Organizer Aaron Burnett And SEIU Local 1 Union Representative Kevin Oliver kicked off the event. Speakers at the event included: St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier, Pastor Teresea Danieley, Father Richard Creason, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Representative Lew Moye, Parkway National Education Association President Joe Wanda Bozeman, St. Louis Building Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Aboussie, Minimum Wage Activist Joe Wicks, and JwJ Communications Organizer Charlie Edelen. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay even showed up and said a few words of support.
SB 1 (Missouri’s “Right-to-Work-forLess” Bill) had a hearing in the Missouri Senate on Monday, March 14. After debating the bill for barely three hours, Republican Senators couldn’t muster up enough support for a vote, and the bill was shelved.
While it’s unclear whether Republicans will try to bring the legislation back for a vote, it seems clear that the 500 workers who packed the gallery that night must have reminded the lawmakers of the 5,000 that packed Kiener Plaza the previous Friday.
Check out the video and the "We Are One" chanting, along with more pictures on Show Me Progress website. There's a great collection of short interviews and photos of the rally on Occasional Planet's blog. And a powerful slideshow on FiredUp! Missouri's blog.