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Demonstrators in New York in solidarity with union workers across the country. Photo: Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Missouri voters, through a labor-organized veto referendum on Tuesday, overwhelmingly rejected the state's "right-to-work" law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature last year, which bans compulsory union fees in all private-sector workplaces.

Why it matters: This is a major victory for unions, which have spent millions on a campaign to defeat the law that would have diminished their effectiveness. Missouri has become the latest battleground over union fees following the Supreme Court’s conservative-majority decision in June that public-sector unions cannot mandate mandatory fees from non-members who refuse to join.

The details: The law was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin. The vote followed a referendum filed by unions last year to overturn the policy that already existed in 27 other states.

  • The highly partisan fight over union fees has been growing in other states. Since 2012, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have become right-to-work states.

Supporters of the policy said it would strengthen states economically and gave workers a choice on whether to join unions.

The other side: Union leaders argue that its part of a concerted effort by Republicans to weakened their power because labor groups have traditionally supported and provided money to Democratic candidates in crucial states.

  • The fees collected can only be used for collective bargaining, not for political purpose. Unions argue that nonmembers who pay fees benefit from contract negotiations, salary and time off, so everyone should make a financial contribution to prevent freeloading.

What they're saying: Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of labor unions, said in a statement: "Missouri is the latest sign of a true groundswell, and working people are just getting started. The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”