This summer, IUE-CWA reached out to the Springfield-Ozarks Workers’ Rights Board to support Eyemart Express workers who wanted to unionize in the face of intense union-busting. While this is a small shop, its national headquarters was sending five managers each week to have mandatory anti-union meetings. Not only were they dealing with union-busting, but they were also concerned about having in-person meetings in small offices with managers who had been traveling weekly. They felt like this was putting their health at risk as well.
MO JWJ circulated a petition that called out Eyemart Express’ union-busting and dangerous tactics, calling on Eyemart Express to protect workers and their right to unionize. In early September, the Eyemart Express CEO and five managers came to town to ramp up their anti-union efforts. We organized a press conference including Missouri House Minority Leader Representative Crystal Quade outside of Eyemart. After the press conference, a delegation of MO JWJ leaders delivered the petition into the store to show that the community stands with workers.
Unfortunately, the anti-union campaign was so intense, that CWA has pulled the petition for election for now and they plan to refile it later this year. They’ll be working with the workers to tell their stories of how management shut down their right to organize – and we’ll be there to support their next steps.