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State workers union calls on Gov. Blunt to negotiate with them

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – About 50 state workers and union representatives staged a rally in Jefferson City Monday, accusing Governor Matt Blunt of refusing to negotiate with them.

Earlier this year the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state employees have the same collective bargaining rights as workers employed by private companies.

But Bradley Harmon with the Communications Workers of America Local 6355 says the governor and the State Office of Administration are refusing to meet with them.

"The demands that we are asking are in the best interests of the people of the state of Missouri...we are not going to let him stop us in some sort of a legislative agenda...we will be back in Jefferson City for as long as it takes for us to win this fight," Harmon told the crowd while speaking through a bullhorn.

The crowd rallied on the steps of the State Supreme Court building during a thunderstorm.

Heavy rain fell, lightning flashed, and very loud thunder rumbled overhead as the demonstrators huddled under umbrellas, shouting, "Listen, Blunt, do you hear? We want justice, is that clear?"

At the end of the rally, the group marched about three blocks over to the Governor's Mansion to leave him a signed note.

"We're gonna leave him a note from all the state employees who've signed one, telling him that he he should be ashamed...that he really does need to treat us like human beings," Harmon said.

The demonstrators were met at the Governor's Mansion by a security guard, who accepted their note and told them to leave.

The governor's office was closed for Veterans Day, and therefore could not be reached for comment.

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