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St. Louis Labor Controversy: Is City Forcing New Employees To Sign Anti-Union Agreement?

"The document basically informs new employees that your benefits are subject to change," Rainford tells Daily RFT. "All of our benefits in America are pretty much subject to change."

He says this document comes from the fact that the city is currently in litigation with the firefighters and that there was misinformation being spread -- that their benefits could never change.

Since that fact does not line up with city policy, he says, the city counselor recommended that they write new language for hires that makes it "abundantly clear...that benefits can change."

"It's nothing new. It's not a new policy, not a new law.... It doesn't mean anything that Lewis Reed is saying," says Rainford.

But since word got out about this, Slay met with union leaders this morning to discuss this and "agreed that the language came across as being harsh...and it was creating angst and anxiety," Rainford says.

The mayor will withdraw the agreement as written and develop new language that protects the city's legal position, but doesn't create as much anxiety, Rainford says. He emphasizes that there will still be no policy change, but simply an adjustment in language.

"The mayor acknowledges that the way it was worded is open to creating anxiety and he doesn't want to create anxiety," he says.

All the attention around this issue has to do with campaign season and the Carpenters Union's endorsement of Reed, he argues.

"If this was a normal day and not two weeks before an election...all of this would be worked out," Rainford says.

Carpenters Union endorses Reed.jpg
via carpdc.org
The Carpenters Union has endorsed Reed in the race for mayor.

The Reed campaign held a press conference at City Hall this morning to spread the word about this issue.

Here's the memo and attached agreement document.

Benefits Acknowledgement Form

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.



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9 comments
RETIRED1
RETIRED1

Someone at the RFT is on Callow's/Slay's payroll to disparage Lewis Reed with all the lying they are doing about Lewis Reed!

RETIRED1
RETIRED1

SLAY MUST GO! He is the most incompetent mayor that St. Louis has ever had!

RETIRED1
RETIRED1

This sounds like a Slay/Nasheed sponsored stunt to disparage Lewis Reed! Nasheed is a sellout to Slay's and Rex Sinquefield's dollars and she will be bounced out of office for carrying Slay's water!

ProWorker
ProWorker

Here are the take aways... the Union representing CITY EMPLOYEES (over 1000) has endorsed Lewis Reed. Secondly a sitting DEMOCRAT Mayor has forced employees to sign a document that not even the most heinous GOP Governors has thought of. And finally the DEMOCRAT Mayor has demonstrated dishonesty right out of the GOP playbook by stating that he didn't know about it.  Want proof? Did Slay's office offer to rescind the documents that he forced his employees to sign? Nope he didn't because  approves of the this terrorizing wicked anti employee form.

YoungReezy
YoungReezy

Good.  Public pensions are a goddamn scam on hardworking taxpayers who work in the private sector.  These  public sector leeches need a reality check.

francis_38
francis_38

Slay and Rainford create Anxiety as a hobby and its all financed by Rex. Rainford should have to sign a form thats states everytime he opens his mouth with stupid excuses for the Mayor he is subject to being Bitch slapped by Voters who are sick of his MOUTH!

johnson_wa
johnson_wa

There should be absolutely no surprise here. When a mayor takes tens of thousands of dollars from the most right wing political interests in the region (Rex et al.) of course he will introduce draconian policy against living wages and benefits. St. Louis is a Democratic town so there will always be the obligatory lip service to Democratic values but none of it will go against the will of his Republican donors.

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