labor unions

369 members of the nurse's union at St. Louis University Hospital participated in the vote throughout the day Monday.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 10 a.m. June 16

Members of a nurse’s union at Saint Louis University Hospital voted against de-authorizing their union late Monday, a measure that would have effectively created a “right-to-work” policy within the hospital.  

The National Nurses United affiliate has about 650 members at SLU Hospital; only 140 voted in favor of de-authorization during three scheduled voting periods throughout the day. The measure needed 326 votes to pass, which would have made the payment of union dues optional.  

Local 36 sheet metal worker leader Ernie Angelbeck celebrates Gov. Jay Nixon's signature vetoing "right to work" at a news conference Thursday, June 4, 2015 in St. Louis.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

As expected, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed the “right-to-work” bill passed by state lawmakers just before their session ended last month.

The measure would stop employers from making union dues a condition of employment. As it stands now, unions and businesses can make that requirement if a majority of workers have voted to be in a union.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks on Thursday at St. Louis Building Trades headquarters in south St. Louis. Labor unions agreed to work 24-hour shifts with no overtime to build a riverfront stadium in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis labor unions are willing to work 24-hours-a-day without overtime to build a stadium on the city’s riverfront.

It’s a move that Gov. Jay Nixon said showcases how serious the city and state are about building a stadium aimed at keeping professional football in the Gateway City.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1 p.m., Wed., Feb. 11)

By a voice vote, the Missouri House gave first round-approval Wednesday to a bill to bar construction unions and employers from requiring all employees to join a union and pay dues if a majority votes to organize. The bill, HB 582, is sponsored by Rep. Courtney Curtis, D-Berkeley.

----- Our earlier story

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Union membership in Missouri has dropped to its lowest rate in 26 years, according to new numbers released earlier this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Five of the original 12 participants in the first session of BUD listen intently to their instructor on the first day of training October 6, 2014.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The first session of the Building Union Diversity, or BUD, initiative has finished. It’s a new effort to increase diversity in St. Louis building and construction unions. Program organizers say efforts are now underway to connect participants to employers.

The initiative is an eight-week pre-apprenticeship program organized by seven St. Louis unions, with funding and recruitment provided by the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment.

BJC HealthCare

In his 35 years as president of the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition for Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Lew Moye has seen a lot of initiatives to increase diversity in construction.

There have been agreements to include minorities in specific projects, such as building the Edward Jones Dome and expanding Interstate 64.

And there have been protests demanding greater minority representation, such as the 1999 shutdown of I-70, where Reverend Al Sharpton led minority contractors in a call for more state highway jobs.

Striking fast food workers in south St. Louis, MO.
Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Many St. Louis fast food workers will walk off the job Thursday as part of a national call for a $15-an-hour wage and for union rights.

National organizers behind #StrikeFastFood say workers in more than 100 cities will strike, but St. Louis workers won’t be picketing here.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

 

In a quest to make job training count, the Obama administration is taking an interest in work-based apprenticeships. A St. Louis program is serving as a model for the administration.

The White House is highlighting about 40 programs across the country that are doing it right under the so-called Ready to Work Initiative. Only one such program in Missouri has made the list, the St. Louis Carpenter Union’s Mid-Apprenticeship Program.  

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Wikipedia | government photo

In a case from Illinois that may not reach outside that state, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Pamela Harris, whose child’s disabilities required that he have around-the-clock care. She became his home health worker and objected to having to pay union dues that she thought reduced the amount of money she had to care for her child.

UFCW Local 655

Union workers at area Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Shop'n Save ratified a three-year contract with the supermarkets late Wednesday night. Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 voted 1,641 to 662 to approve the contract at the Family Arena in St. Charles following a meeting of employees from the three companies.

The contract, which covers roughly 9,000 members working at 104 stores and pharmacies in the area, allows for a $0.60 wage increase over the life of the contract and includes no overall reduction in benefits.

Striking fast food workers in south St. Louis, MO.
Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Fast food workers around the globe and in St. Louis went on strike Thursday. Workers, wearing black T-shirts that say "Show Me $15," rallied in front of a Wendy's in south St. Louis. The workers are asking for $15 an hour, about double what many workers currently receive. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

'Right-to-work' legislation in the Missouri House hit a snag Wednesday.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Roughly a thousand labor union members crowded onto the south lawn of the state Capitol Wednesday to rally against legislation to turn Missouri into a "right-to-work" state.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson Cowie is a professor in Cornell University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations teaching courses in labor relations, law and history.  His most recent book, Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class served as inspiration for Rebecca Gilman’s play, “Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976” which is now playing at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.  While Cowie was in St.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republican lawmakers in Missouri are again trying to pass so-called "paycheck protection" legislation to  bar some unions from automatically withholding dues from employees.

File photo

When Republican Steve Tilley was speaker of the Missouri House, he flatly told fellow Republicans that he would not bring up any bills to make Missouri a "right-to-work" state.

At the time, Tilley said publicly that he viewed the issue as too divisive and potentially destructive to Missouri Republicans. He also discounted the arguments of "right-to-work" advocates who said that such a law would create jobs.

Now, the Missouri AFL-CIO has hired Tilley as a lobbyist to block this session’s "right-to-work" efforts of his successor, Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A bill to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state was the subject of a hearing in Jefferson City Monday.

As written, the so-called "Freedom to Work Act" (House Bill 1099) would bar workers from being required to "engage in or cease engaging in specified labor organization practices" as a condition for employment.  It's sponsored by State Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield.

Provided by governor's office

Updated noon Monday, Jan. 13

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon joined Ford officials in Detroit on Monday to highlight the automaker’s production in Missouri, most notably its 2015 Ford F-150, which will be built at the company’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo.

On Sunday, the governor had done the same thing:  He appeared with General Motors officials at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to promote the auto manufacturer’s new mid-size truck, the 2015 GMC Canyon, which is to be built in Wentzville.

Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has announced an agreement with St. Louis-area labor unions leaders designed to further entice Boeing into awarding its 777X contract to Missouri.

Nixon told reporters during a conference call Tuesday that leaders from three construction union groups have all committed to a 24-hour work schedule with no overtime pay, while constructing the facility where the new passenger jet is to be built.

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