Governor Nixon, MissouriOn Thursday, June 4, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon traveled to SMART SMD Local 36 in St. Louis to veto a toxic right-to-work for less bill passed by that state’s legislature. With a fired up crowd of hundreds of onlookers, he noted that “For generations, the ability of workers to join together and bargain collectively for fair wages and benefits has formed the foundation of the American middle-class. This extreme measure would take our state backward.”
Due to the Republican Party’s lock on midterm elections, this year marks the first time that anti-worker groups were able to foster enough support in the state Legislature to send a bill to the Governor. The Legislature effectively shut down the last week of it’s session after some GOP senators forced a vote on the measure.
Even with an overwhelming and record number of Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate, the bill’s original passage still fell short of the two-thirds majority vote needed in both chambers to overturn Governor Nixon’s veto. The Republican Party was split, with many members joining Democrats in opposition to the extreme legislation.
To override the veto, the Republican-controlled Legislature would need 23 votes in the Senate and 109 in the House. The Senate passed the measure 21-13 earlier this year while the House passed it 92-66.



Transportation Division Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges asks members for their support. Next week is the final week of the 2015 legislative session and the senate is planning to debate the state’s “right to work” anti-labor bill.

“We are being asked by the Mo. AFL-CIO to ‘pack’ the gallery of the senate next week. If any SMART member could spend a few hours in Jefferson City next week at the Capitol it would be greatly appreciated,” Menges said. “I know that our schedules are hectic, but a few hours any day would be a great help.”

Mo. AFL-CIO President Michael Louis said, “We are faced with the worst attack on labor and working families ever. Right to work has passed the house and now awaits floor debate to pass the senate. We must all unite to stop this unfair and unnecessary attack.

“Everyday next week, Monday through Friday, there is a very good chance that right to work will be on the senate floor. With one stroke of the pen all of the working conditions, wages and fringe benefits that have been fought for decades can be taken away from Missouri workers.”

Members planning to fill the senate gallery should call the Mo. AFL-CIO at (573) 634-2115 so that they can create a schedule to spread out the crowds over the course of the week. Monday’s session begins at 11 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the rest of the week. Members can also call the Mo. state legislative board at (573) 634-3303 for further assistance.

missouri_mapRight to work legislation will be taken up Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the Missouri House of Representatives, Transportation Division State Legislative Director Ken Menges reports.
Menges is asking SMART members in the state to contact their state representatives and ask them to vote against the legislation.
“These so called ‘right to work’ or ‘workplace freedom’ bills aren’t what they seem,” Menges said. “This type of legislation and other divisive laws will financially harm working class Missourians and make our workplaces less safe.”
SMART members and their family members can contact their state representative by visiting the “Find My Legislator” webpage on the Missouri House of Representatives webpage.
After entering their ZIP code, citizens can find the state representative. Click on the legislator’s name to reach his or her contact page containing the legislator’s office telephone number and Email address.
Let you representative or his or her staff know that you are “strongly opposed” to House Bill 582 and HCS House Bill 116.
Today’s legislative session begins at 10 a.m.

Amtrak LogoST. LOUIS – The expense of installing mandated train collision avoidance technology is putting passenger service in Missouri at risk, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The equipment, which is designed to override human error, is supposed to be in place by Dec. 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Read the complete story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

missouri_mapSMART Transportation Division’s Missouri State Legislative Board has released the names of candidates that it is endorsing for the 2014 midterm elections. The state of Missouri is holding primary elections Tuesday, Aug. 5.

For a list showing all candidates and the board’s recommendations, click here. Candidates that are marked as “no” on the list have repeatedly voted against labor in the past and have shown that they do not support the goals of the Missouri State Legislative Board. Candidates on which the board expresses no opinion are listed as “open.”

The board asks that all members from Missouri vote their paycheck by voting for the endorsed candidates.

If you are unsure of the voting district in which you reside, click here.

Candidates being endorsed by the Missouri State Legislative Board are as follows:

Lacy ClayU.S. Representative1
Nate IrvinU.S. Representative4
Emanuel Cleaver IIU.S. Representative


Joe KeavenyState Senator4
Maria Chappelle-Nadal State Senator14
Jill SchuppState Senator24
Robert StuberState Senator34
Mike WaltemathState Representative 2
Nate WalkerState Representative3
Robert HarringtonState Representative6
Jim NeeleyState Representative8
Pat ConwayState Representative10
Galen Hidgon Jr.State Representative11
Sandy Van WagnerState Representative12
Jon Carpenter State Representative 15 
Mark Ellebracht State Representative 17 
Kevin Garner State Representative 18 
John Rizzo State Representative 19 
John Mayfield State Representative 20 
Ira Anders State Representative 21 
Brandon Ellington State Representative 22 
Randy DunnState Representative 23 
Judy Morgan State Representative 24 
Jeremy LaFaver State Representative 25 
Gail Beatty State Representative 26 
Bonnaye MimsState Representative27
Tom McDonaldState Representative28
Noel TorpeyState Representative29
Sheila SolonState Representative31
Jeanie LauerState Representative32
Donna PfautschState Representative33
Kenneth DuvallState Representative35
Kevin McManusState Representative36
Joe RunionsState Representative37
Dan DildineState Representative41
Bart KormanState Representative42
Ed LockwoodState Representative43
Kip KendrickState Representative45
Stephen WebberState Representative46
John WrightState Representative47
Gracia BackerState Representative49
Gary GrigsbyState Representative51
Henry GrubbState Representative53
Patty JohnsonState Representative56
William GrimesState Representative57
Tom SmithState Representative61
Anne ZerrState Representative65
Tommie PiersonState Representative66
Sylvester Taylor IIState Representative67
Keith EnglishState Representative68
Margo McNeilState Representative69
Bill OttoState Representative70
Sue MeredithState Representative71
Mary NicholsState Representative72
Courtney CurtisState Representative73
Sharon PaceState Representative74
Rochelle Walton GrayState Representative75
Joshua PetersState Representative76
Kimberly GardnerState Representative77
Penny HubbardState Representative78
Michael ButlerState Representative79
Mike ColonaState Representative80
Jacob HummelState Representative81
chele Kratky
State Representative82
Gina MittenState Representative83
Karla MayState Representative84
Clem SmithState Representative85
Joe AdamsState Representative86
Stacey NewmanState Representative87
Tracy McCreeryState Representative88
Deb LavenderState Representative90
Jeanne KirktonState Representative91
Genise MontecilloState Representative92
Bob BurnsState Representative93
Vicki Lorenz EnglundState Representative94
John McCahertyState Representative97
John CallahanState Representative102
Michael SwyersState Representative102
Kyle SchlerethState Representative103
Kathie ConwayState Representative104
Matt JudkinsState Representative105
Chrissy SommerState Representative106
Ron HicksState Representative107
Bobbie BollmannState Representative109
Michael FrameState Representative111
Robert ButlerState Representative112
T.J. McKennaState Representative114
Elaine GannonState Representative115
Kevin EnglerState Representative116
Linda BlackState Representative117
Ben HarrisState Representative118
Dave HinsonState Representative119
Ethan NewmanState Representative125
Charlie NorrState Representative132
Angie FilbeckState Representative135
Don PhillipsState Representative138
Paul FitzwaterState Representative144
Charles ElrodState Representative145
Duston StoneState Representative148
Diedra FreemanState Representative149
Walter DearingState Representative149
Ryan HolderState Representative151
Hugh ShieldsState Representative161



Amtrak LogoA column by SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind informing lawmakers about the public’s support for Amtrak was published April 16 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In response to the column, Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges told Previsich and Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem, “Your timing was impeccable. Just today (April 16), there was a hearing in the state Senate about a new transportation tax. The proposal has already passed in the House. Also, I am meeting now with a citizens’ passenger rail group about improving passenger rail transportation here in Missouri. Thank you for your leadership.”

The column by Previsich and Wytkind reads:

Stark divisions have defined our national politics for some time. But there are many transportation issues that unite Americans across political lines, and one of those is overwhelming support for passenger rail in this country, and in particular, for Amtrak.

Recent polls in America’s heartland have shown huge support for our national passenger rail system, Amtrak.

Missouri is no exception.

Red, blue or purple, 82 percent of Missourians want to increase or maintain passenger rail service in the state. And seven in 10 want to increase or maintain Amtrak’s current funding levels, according to a survey conducted by DFM Research. The elected leaders who will hold Amtrak’s fate in their hands during this congressional session need to recognize an important fact uncovered by this poll — the support for Amtrak is deep, and it is nonpartisan.

It’s not only in St. Louis and Kansas City that support for Amtrak is high. Even in northern, central and southern Missouri, where ridership is lower – and voters tend to be more conservative – strong majorities say they value passenger rail service and want to fund it.

The polls measure support that has been very real on station platforms for several years. Nationwide, Amtrak ridership is at an all-time high. About 31.6 million passengers rode Amtrak last year, thanks to increased use of routes in all regions, not just in the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor. The railroad’s ridership has set records in 10 of the last 11 years, and is up more than 50 percent since 2000.

Here in Missouri, ridership on all Amtrak lines, including the Missouri River Runner, the Texas Eagle and the Southwest Chief, reached 774,000 last year, up 4.7 percent from 2012.

The Missouri findings mirror those of recent polls in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and Kentucky. Clearly, Americans understand that a well-financed, well-maintained passenger rail network is essential to an integrated national transportation system.

Investing in Amtrak and the development it attracts is also good business. Since 2010, every federal dollar invested in Amtrak pours $3 back into the economy. That’s why many business leaders understand that long-term economic growth depends on investment in our multi-modal transportation infrastructure – and expanded passenger rail must be part of the picture.

To deliver on what the people of Missouri want will require more federal investment and an end to the political attacks on Amtrak and its employees that seem to spring up annually. Amtrak is operating with infrastructure that was built in the middle of the last century, and yet Americans continue to ride on Amtrak in record numbers – and to tell Congress they want and need more rail service.

But a well-funded and accessible Amtrak system isn’t all that Missourians say they want. They also want the freight trains that traverse annually across Missouri carrying 16 million tons of freight (including more than 24,000 carloads of chemicals) to be as safe as possible. About 8 in 10 Missourians agree that one-person freight train crews should be barred in favor of mandatory two-person crew operations. This is not an academic debate. There are single-member freight train crews out there — in fact, last year’s fiery crash of a freight train in Quebec was run by a one-person crew. Fortunately, legislation is pending before Congress that would make two-person crews mandatory, just the way Missourians would have it.

Political views and ideology aside, the people of Missouri clearly want more Amtrak service, not less. They also want freight trains that are safe and properly crewed. It is time for lawmakers, with the rewrite of federal rail laws now pending, to tone down the partisanship and start listening to what Missourians and the vast majority of Americans are saying.

The Missouri House of Representatives plans to vote on right-to-work legislation today, April 2.
State Legislative Director Ken Menges, asks that all Missourians call their state representatives today and tell them to vote no on right-to-work.
“Tell your Representative that these laws being pushed by out-of-state corporate CEOs are bad for Missouri’s working families: they’ll lower wages and benefits at a time when the middle class is already struggling,” Menges said.
Click here to learn more on how to contact your Missouri legislators.

JEFFERSON CITY — After steadfast opposition from Democratic senators, the Missouri Senate gave first-round approval early Tuesday morning to a bill that would require public employee unions to seek annual consent in order to automatically deduct fees from members’ paychecks.

The final measure was the product of a compromise forged after a nearly eight hours of opposition from Senate Democrats. The original measure would have banned paycheck deductions outright for some unionized public employees.

Read the complete story at The Kansas City Star.


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – UTU Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges is halfway toward a goal of creating a public rail commission to study means of expanding and financing improved multi-modal passenger transportation in his state and throughout the Midwest, with an emphasis on creating a track network capable of supporting 150-mph rail passenger service.

In a show of bi-partisan support, the Missouri House of Representatives has voted 134-2 to create a 15-member commission to recommend best practices to “design, build, operate, maintain and finance an improved rail system for Missouri and the Midwest, including “specific recommendations for legislation, regulations, funding sources and way to integrate the improved rail system into existing and planned Amtrak expansions, airports and public transportation systems.”

The House bill is specific that the improved rail system be designed for 150-mph rail passenger service.

The focus now shifts to the state senate.

Menges said he has been working with representatives of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, as well as Missouri railroads and the state DOT, to gather bi-partisan legislative support.