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Missouri Minute: Labor groups collect 300,000 signatures against right-to-work; 160 Applebee’s, IHOPs to close

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Unions plan to turn in 300K signatures, likely putting Missouri’s ‘right-to-work’ law in limbo

It appears that Missouri labor groups will be able to block the state’s new “right-to-work” law from taking effect Aug. 28. They’ve collected more than 300,000 notarized signatures in the fight to force a statewide vote over the law in November 2018, state AFL-CIO president Mike Louis and other union leaders say. That’s more than three times the number needed. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has said the law can’t be enforced if it’s clear union leaders turn in at least 100,000 certified signatures. Read more

St. Louis sewer district finally awards disputed $150 million contract

After nearly a year of delay, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District finally approved a contractor for a $150 million tunnel project mired in controversy. Trustees confirmed the award to SAK Construction, of O’Fallon, Mo., in a seemingly routine vote Thursday evening. But the process has been anything but normal. Read more

Parent company to shutter up to 160 Applebee’s and IHOPs

The parent of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants said Thursday that as many as 160 locations could close throughout this fiscal year, though the company also plans to open dozens of new restaurants. Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity Inc. previously announced plans to close 40 to 60 Applebee’s. But it now plans to close 105 to 135 locations of the restaurant, which had its headquarters in the Kansas City area until 2015. Read more

UMKC chancellor Morton to leave earlier than announced, return to private sector

University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton will leave the school in October, months earlier than originally announced, to return to his business roots. Morton, who has been UMKC’s chancellor since 2008, said in May that he wouldn’t retire until after the 2017-18 academic year But a university announcement released Wednesday said Morton, 71, has accepted the position of chief operating officer at DeBruce Companies, a multibillion-dollar Kansas City company. Read more

Trump’s Labor Department eyes remake of Obama’s stalled overtime rules

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Labor intended to extend mandatory overtime rights to 4 million to 5 million more workers than were eligible under the old rules. Now, under the Trump administration, the Labor Department has signaled it intends to start anew on the salary test part of the overtime regulations rather than defend the higher wage threshold in court. Read more

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