Republicans lead passage of secret ballot bill
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Republicans lead passage of secret ballot bill

Date: April 6, 2009
By: Theo Keith
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HJR 37, Prior Story

Intro: In response to a federal bill, a measure passed a House committee that forces workers to use secret ballots to form unions.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

RunTime:0:40
OutCue: SOC

The House Workforce Committee's seven Republicans defeated five Democrats in a straight party line vote.

The bill would allow state voters to decide whether to change the Missouri Constitution to ensure the right of secret ballot votes.

Jim Kabell (Kuh-bell), president of a regional Teamsters unit, says the bill takes away workers' choices.

Actuality:  KABELL1.WAV
Run Time: 00:08
Description: All of these issues sound very good on their face, but when you get underneath, all they are is a target painted on workers' backs.

Kabell and other union representatives say the bill would give employers more power over their workers.

The bill's hearing took two days to finish.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.


Intro: Republicans passed a bill through a House committee Monday that would force workers to use secret ballots to form unions.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

RunTime:0:37
OutCue: SOC

The GOP-backed bill comes in response to a federal measure.

The bill would ask Missourians in the 2010 election whether to guarantee the right to secret ballot votes, which protect workers from union and employer intimidation.

St. Peters Republican Representative Doug Funderburk says he voted for the bill so the entire House could debate its merits.

Actuality:  FUNDER1.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: Obviously, what we've learned here over these two hearings - or this one hearing, two parts - is that there's a lot of confusion and a complete lack of understanding of this issue.

Union leaders say the bill takes rights away from workers.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.


Intro: In a straight party line vote, Republicans passed a bill through a House committee that limits workers to using secret ballots when forming unions.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

RunTime:0:43
OutCue: SOC

The bill passed the House Workforce Committee in response to a federal measure.

The GOP says they support the bill to stop Congress from eliminating secret ballot votes because they protect employees from workplace harassment.

Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Herb Johnson says the federal government isn't trying to ban secret ballots.

Actuality:  JOHNSON5.WAV
Run Time: 00:15
Description: There is no elimination of any secret ballot. That's simply not true. It merely changes who it is that determines whether there will be a secret ballot from the employer to the employees.

Johnson says when employers control that decision, workers have fewer rights.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.