Labor News From Our Region
Earning a fair living in RTW states: NOT HAPPENING
By ED FINKELSTEIN
The tragedy for workers is that the slogan, “right-to-work (for less)” is a truism, despite all the phony advertising to the contrary we will be seeing shortly –– paid for by dark money groups from outside Missouri. Be prepared for an onslaught of TV, radio and digital ads, plus plenty of lies in your mailbox.
Median household income data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows families in “right-to-work (for less)” (RTW) states earn an average of $8,740 LESS than families in states without this anti-worker law.
Here are the FACTS comparing the WORST 24 states with the BEST 24 states in terms of family income:
• RTW – In 18 of the 24 worst states for family income, (75 percent) are RTW.
• WITHOUT RTW – Only six of the worst 24 states (25 percent) are without a RTW law.
• WITHOUT RTW – 18 of the 24 best states (75 percent) have NO RTW law allowing for more income to meet family needs.
• RTW – Only six of the 24 best states (25 percent) are RTW states.
Missouri ranks 15th worst of the 48 states, which is shameful. Passage of Proposition A (RTW) will make that situation significantly worse, which is why workers are being urged to protect their pay by voting NO on Prop A.
TERRIBLE PAYCHECK IMPACT
A median household income loss of $8,740 a year — 14 percent LESS in annual earnings — will have a terrible impact on family paychecks and budgets:
• $168 LESS per week.
• $783 LESS per month.
Monthly, that’s the equivalent of car or a mortgage payment. Weekly, that’s fewer groceries, no extras and almost no chance of taking your spouse or family out for an evening’s entertainment.
Why compare only 48 states and not 50?
For all the other stories in this series we have 2018 data. For this particular story, we only have 2016 data, the latest available from federal sources. Two states, Wisconsin and West Virginia, are not built into the calculations for this story because in 2016 they had not had RTW long enough to determine the financial impact of the law.
Wisconsin went RTW in 2015 and West Virginia in 2016.
RTW Kentucky and Missouri are included in this analysis because they did not yet have the RTW in 2016 when the federal data was compiled. Kentucky enacted RTW in 2017, the same year the legislature passed RTW in Missouri.
Missouri’s law has not yet been implemented thanks to the coalition of workers and like-minded groups that collected 310,567 signatures to put the measure on the Aug. 7 ballot for voters to decide.
VOTE ‘NO’ ON PROP. A
On Aug. 7, voters will have a chance to decide on Prop. A, the ballot measure to determine whether Missouri will be a RTW state.
The evidence is clear, Prop A (RTW) will not only fail to create jobs and drive down wages and benefits and make workplaces less safe, living under RTW threatens the well-being of you and your family.
Missourians who are registered to vote can defeat RTW on Aug. 7 by voting NO on Prop A, and send a clear message to Missouri lawmakers that we don’t want to join the ranks of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and other states where working people can’t earn a fair return on their work and the wealthiest 1% and their corporate lobbyists use this anti-worker law to enrich themselves and the expense of workers and their families.
Protect your family, protect your pay, Vote NO on Prop A.
GET YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY REGISTERED TO VOTE
You can’t protect your pay defeat Prop A unless you are registered to vote. The deadline to register is July 11
You can register yourself and everyone in your family who is 18 or older, or will be 18 on Election Day, registered online or in person at your local election board or election authority.
You can register or re-register online at sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.
It won’t hurt to re-register if you’re not sure. State law allows you to register to vote as often as you like.
Protect your pay, Vote NO on Prop A.
See previous Why Vote No on Prop A stories:
Part 10. Living in RTW states is more dangerous for everyone, but especially students