Aug 8, 2018

Missouri voters strike down right-to-work law curbing union power

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."

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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