A coalition of labor unions representing Missouri state workers filed a lawsuit today challenging the recently passed Senate Bill 1007, which sought, among other things, to strip public service workers of collectively bargained protections on the job. The lawsuit was filed with the Cole County Circuit Court by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, and Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 6355.
“Former Governor Greitens may have thought he could throw away the hard-won rights of dedicated public service workers on his way out the door,” said AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan. “But the Missouri constitution says otherwise. We are fighting this unjust and illegal attack on the rights of our members every step of the way, and we are confident that justice will prevail.”
SB 1007 infringes upon Missouri state workers’ collective bargaining rights, which Missourians have enshrined in their constitution’s Bill of Rights. The right to bargain over protections from arbitrary and discriminatory termination and discipline, and to commit to agreements containing these protections, is central to these protected collective bargaining rights, as is the right to file grievances and be heard when these rights are violated. The legislature can no more eliminate these rights as it can other rights enshrined in our constitution, like the freedom of speech.
“SB 1007 hurts thousands of Missouri working families as well as all those who rely on state services,” said SEIU Local 1 Vice President Nancy Cross. “SEIU Local 1 members are coming together to reverse this unconstitutional attack by wealthy special interests on the rights of the working people of our state.”
“SB 1007 is an attack on our fundamental rights as workers to organize and our ability to collectively bargain. Unions of public workers have the infrastructure to protect workers from unjust actions in the workplace and fight for the crucial services that members of our communities need to survive,” said CWA Local 6355 President Natashia Pickens. “We fight for the workers and the state is trying to alienate workers and crush the very organizations with the ability to help workers have a voice on the job. CWA 6355 members are not just going to stand by and let them diminish the rights of workers and the families we serve.”