ST. JOSEPH, MO, December 13, 2017– An overwhelming majority of employees from the City of St. Joseph’s Water Protection department voted Wednesday to join Laborers Local Union 579. The election was set after employees reached out to union representatives to ask for help in joining the local. The final tally was 22 votes to join the union and 8 against.
“We are so thrilled for these workers making this choice to take advantage of the benefits offered by membership with the union,” said Local 579 Business Manager Scott Howell. “We’ll begin working immediately to set up the systems that will bring them on board.”
Workers voted in two shifts Wednesday at the in the conference room at the Water Protection Facility. Representatives of the State Board of Mediation administered the election. The positive vote comes despite the city’s efforts to discourage the workers from voting to join the union.
“This is a great victory for working people in Missouri,” said Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers District Council Business Manager Tim Bell. “These brave workers stood up for themselves at a time when government officials are taking aim at working people with anti-labor policies like right to work and repealing prevailing wage.”
The union will represent the workers in future contract negotiations with the City of St. Joseph.
The employees contacted Local 579 shortly after voting to decertify their representation by another union in 2015. Federal labor regulations required the workers to go one year without representation before they could vote to join another union.
Jeff Phillips, Laborers' Local 663 Communications Manager
After seeing a defense of right to work from an anti-labor spokesman printed in the Columbia Daily Tribune, our Communications and Outreach Manager, Jeff Phillips, fired back with a taste of the truth for readers in his old college town. Here’s his letter to the editor.
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