Category Archives: Local

Calls to Resign Mounting for MO State Rep Love

By MCNS Staff

Rep. Love's inflammatory Facebook post.

Rep. Love’s inflammatory Facebook post.

Calls are increasing for the resignation of a Missouri state representative who called for the lynching of protesters.

Though slow to build, outrage at Rep. Warren Love’s (R-Osceola) Facebook comments Wednesday about people who threw paint on a Confederate monument in Springfield, MO is growing on both sides of the aisle.

“I’m not planning on resigning,” Love said in a phone interview on Thursday.

The controversy stemmed from a shared post linked to an article about the incident on Love’s Facebook page where he wrote, “This is totally against the law. I hope they are found and hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

In response to the furor over his comment, Love expressed

St. Louis Minimum Wage Rollback Set to Take Effect

A much celebrated St. Louis minimum wage raise will be rescinded.

A popular St. Louis minimum wage raise will be rescinded.

By MCNS Staff

A state law nullifying a St. Louis city $10 minimum wage ordinance is set to go into effect on Monday, August 28.

Across the city, minimum hourly wages once raised to $10 by an ordinance signed by former mayor Francis Slay will be dropped down to $7.70 to match the Missouri statewide wage floor. But over 100 area businesses have determined to keep their minimum wage at $10 or higher, even when the law takes effect.

Republican lawmakers who dominate the Missouri legislature tout dropping the St. Louis minimum wage and standardizing wages as part of a conservative effort make the state more business-friendly. But opponents of the legislation, which include minimum wage earners and advocacy groups like Fight for $15, support raising the minimum hike in the interest of a living wage for workers.

The state law changing St. Louis’s minimum wage comes two years to the day after then-Mayor Francis Slay signed the St. Louis ordinance. Court challenges from businesses delayed the ordinance effective date until the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in February that the law could take effect, and it did, in May.

Republican state legislators moved to block the St. Louis ordinance, but city Democrats delays and Republican lawmakers’ infighting with Republican Gov. Eric Greitens held out action to the late hours of the legislative session. Greitens allowed the bill to take effect without his signature.

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Missouri Unions Submit Petition to Stop Right to Work

By MCNS Staffindex

According to stltoday.com, Missouri labor unions have moved to block the state’s new “right to work” law from going into effect. On Friday, they submitted over 300,000 signatures calling for a vote on the measure.

This could stall Gov. Eric Greitens and the Republican-controlled General Assembly. The petition, which must be approved by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, leaves the GOP legislation, which they have branded “pro-business,” inactive until the November 2018 election.

Stltoday.com states that prior to submitting the 310,567 signatures, which is more than triple the requirement, a coalition of unions held a boisterous rally in the Missouri Capitol rotunda to celebrate their success in circulating the petitions.

“I think the people have spoken and they are not all union people. This is democracy in action,” said Rep. Doug Beck, D-Affton, who is a union pipefitter, according to the news site.

Dennis Palmer, a union electrical contractor from Columbia, told the crowd that the object of the law is to lower wages.

“In Missouri, middle class jobs are disappearing. Right to work would further diminish these middle class jobs,” Palmer said.

Under the law approved in February, workers cannot be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or to pay dues to a labor union. Right to work is often seen as decidedly anti-union, and anti-collective bargaining, in the efforts of reducing employee’s power to unionize. It was scheduled to go into effect Aug. 28.

Unions have temporarily stopped the law from being implemented by using a special referendum provision in state law. Not used since 1982, the referendum has been effective in repealing laws 24 of the 26 times they’ve been placed on the ballot since 1914.

Never before elected to political office prior to his 2017 gubernatorial win, Greitens has claimed the right to work legislation as a signature achievement in his short political career.

Now the Missouri Republican Party claims that thousands of people are trying to withdraw their signatures due to being misled about the petition they were signing.

“Union bosses and Big Labor groups are being dishonest with Missourians about right to work, and as a result, we are seeing thousands of people rescind their signature from these anti-right to work petitions,” party chairman Todd Graves said.

According to stltoday.com, both sides are expected to spend lots of money to convince voters either to repeal the law or support it in anticipation that it is placed on the November 2018 ballot. A nonprofit formed to support Greitens has already contributed $100,000 to a political action committee that supports right to work.

Unions are making five- and six-figure contributions to the “We Are Missouri” coalition to support the repeal.

“Working families have to remain vigilant in the fight to protect workers’ right to bargain collectively. Gov. Greitens should consider himself on notice when it comes to unions and protecting the middle class. The fight has only just begun,” said Philip Gruber, general vice president of the Machinists’ Midwest territory, according to the online news site.

The union represents 12,000 Missourians at companies including Boeing, Harley-Davidson and Honeywell.

Demonstrations Outside Ballpark Village Bring Out Anger, Racist Taunts

Protests held outside Ballpark Village Saturday night.

Protests held outside Ballpark Village Saturday night.

By S. Christopher Emerson

Protests outside a St. Louis Cardinals game Saturday brought out arguments and racist taunts from some baseball fans.

Around 100 demonstrators gathered at Ballpark Village Saturday night to mark the three-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, Jr. and to protest a white nationalist tiki-torch rally Friday and confrontation Saturday on the campus of University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.

Protesters in St. Louis chanted “This is what democracy looks like!” and “The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” outside the Cardinals’ game against the Atlanta Braves. Protesters were calling attention to racism in the US in the context of Mike Brown’s shooting death by Ferguson, MO police officer and the white nationalist rally.

Stltoday.com reports that baseball fans leaving the game got into several “confrontations” with protesters. In one incident, onlooking police intervened as one man yelled at protesters. Another man argued with protesters and provoked them with a Nazi salute, and when leaving, used an obscene gesture as he told following protesters to leave him alone. Yet another fan shouted “All lives matter!” at demonstrators.

Officials at Busch Stadium stated that there were no injuries in the clashes at Ballpark Village.

This is in stark contrast to the months of protests in Ferguson following Michael Brown, Jr.’s shooting death by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, in which protesters were tear gassed, tased, shot with rubber bullets, and violently arrested by police outfitted with military equipment.

Tensions also ensued at the white nationalist riot in Charlottesville which saw violence as well, in which the gathering of KKK members, Nazis, Confederates and others, exchanged words with protesters. The demonstrations resulted in one fatality, when a car plowed into a group of people protesting against the white nationalists.

St. Louis protesters eventually left Ballpak Village and briefly marched downtown. They dispersed around 10:15pm.