Victories Against Anti-Worker Laws in Missouri, New Mexico Show Momentum

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

In Missouri, two separate anti-worker measures, HB 1413 and SB 1007, were halted by state courts last week.

In October, AFSCME and several other unions had filed a lawsuit to challenge SB 1007, which sought to strip public service workers of collectively bargained protections on the job. HB 1413 would have done that and more, including putting in place unnecessary hurdles like recertification elections and making it more difficult for those busy serving their communities to pay their union dues. Last summer, workers in Missouri staved off an attempt to make theirs a right-to-work state.

Council 61 President Danny Homan, said in a statement, “It is a victory for working Missourians to have the implementation of blatant union-busting bills halted with the granting of our request for preliminary injunctions.”

AFSCME President Lee Saunders characterized the two measures as “a corporate-backed legislative scheme to try and divide workers, hurt public services and drive down wages for all Missourians by attacking the fundamental right to collective bargaining.”

Meanwhile, the New Mexico Legislature passed a bill prohibiting local governments from implementing their own right-to-work ordinances, which would weaken worker rights and drive down wages. AFSCME members in that state belong to Council 18.

Together, these two recent victories reflect a broader push in the states, embodied by the recent midterm elections, which ushered in a wave of pro-worker candidates, to unrig the rules that rob working families of their voices and to preserve the freedom to join together in strong unions.