Saturday, April 11, 2009

Top-drawer lobbyists sign on for secret ballot proponents

The anti-union front group, which disguises its purpose with the name "SOS (Save our Secret) Ballot," is ratcheting up its efforts in Missouri.

Documents filed Friday with the Missouri Ethics Commission show SOS Ballot has hired one of the state's top lobbying firms, Gamble & Schlemeier, to represent its push to put a proposal before Missouri voters which supposedly is to protect the right to a secret ballot (which is not being threatened by anyone), but is actually an attempt by big business to shut down union organizing efforts.

A resolution offered by Rep. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, to put the secret ballot language before the voters was voted "do pass" Thursday by the House Special Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety, by a 7-5 vote. The committee chairman is Rep. Barney Fisher, R-Richards.

Though SOS disguises its initiatives with wording that would indicate its sole concern is the public rights to a secret vote, the list of those who testified before the committee indicates no one is fooled.

Those testifying for the resolution were Cunningham and Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, Missouri Retailers Association; Missouri Grocers' Association; Glenn Schwarts, KNS Wire Products; National Federation of Independent Business; Associated Builders and Contractors, Heart of America Chapter; Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dan Shaul; Missouri Restaurant Association; Independent Electric Contractors Association of Greater St. Louis; Associated Industries of Missouri; Gina Loudon; and Concerned Women for America of Missouri.

Testifying against the resolution were Missouri AFL-CIO; United Steelworkers District 11; Jim Kabell, Missouri - Kansas
Conference of Teamsters; Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis; Carpenters' District Council of Kansas City; Clark
Brown, Missouri/Kansas State Council, Service Employees' International Union; Missouri Federation of Teachers and School
Related Personnel; Missouri State Labor Utility Conference; and Missouri National Education Association.

The resolution has 77 co-sponsors including Wilson, Ron Richard, R-Joplin, Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, Ed Emery, R-Lamar, and Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City.

The resolution is on the agenda for Wednesday's meeting of the House Rules Committee.

With all of the genuine issues that face Missouri, it is a shame that, once again, our legislative leaders are going to allow the discussion to be dominated by non-issues.

1 comment:

Skip Johnson said...

And I suppose you favor the new open balloting initiative that the feds are proposing. All that does is intimidate those whom would like to not have a union in place. Anyone that has dealt with the normal "strong arm tactics" of the unions understands their trepidation on an open ballot. If you're in a union, more power to ya but if you're not, then you shouldn't be coerced into joining by Bruno and the boys.