[frame src="https://labortribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/right_to_work_hearing_-_1.jpeg" width="250" height="150" align="left" style="2" linkstyle="none"]St. Louis- The threat of right-to-work (for less) becoming an issue in Missouri this year may be diminishing, reports last week suggest.
• Legislative passage: The early threat by Republican Senators Rob Mayer of Dexter, the President of the state senate, and Sen. Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau that right-to-work (for less) would be their major objective this year received a cold dash of reality last week when Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Steve Tilley of Perryville said this legislation would get nowhere in the House, according to an interview with the Politicmo blog.
Tilley pointed out that should such a law pass, Governor Nixon would veto it. “There is no way I have the votes to override a veto…we would be taking up a divisive issue. “I think it’s a waste of our legislative time when we can focus….on something that we could produce fruit from.”
“I think there are a lot of things we can do in this state that business and labor can agree on. I like to focus on consensus,” he said.
• Initiative Petition drive: As of early presstime Friday, a possible initiative petition drive announced earlier this month by Missouri Right To Work Committee Executive Director Greg Johns had not been filed with the Secretary of State.
Speculation has it that the Republican power brokers who are supportive of the effort don’t want it on the ballot this November because it will turn out a higher labor vote that would be helpful U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Governor Jay Nixon, Treasurer Clint Zweifel, and Attorney General Chris Koster, all Democrats who have Republican opposition this year. The worker turnout would also impact all down ballot races. Some are saying that Johns may have jumped the gun this year, that such an effort in a non-critical voting year would be more appropriate.
The rtw effort in Missouri is part of a larger scheme by the radical right to:
• Force unions to spend their limited resources in legislative fights to prevent passage of other anti-worker issues so that they can’t help friendly legislators get re-elected.
• Weaken member financial support of their union by trying to restrict voluntary political contributions from members. Again, a very clever name is attached to the effort: “Paycheck protection.” In reality, it’s paycheck deception because the true effort is being hidden as a worker “protection” which it is not.
The anti-worker rtw (for less) law has been introduced in 10 states over the past year. In Indiana, the law is expected to pass and be signed by the governor within weeks, making it the twenty-first rtw state.
The Republican mantra supporting rtw is that it will bring in more jobs, thus help a state’s economy.
The facts belie that phony statement. For example:
• Six of the 10 states with the highest unemployment are rtw states.
• North Carolina, a rtw state has a 1.8 percent unionization rate, the lowest in the nation, yet its 10 percent unemployment rate is the sixth highest in the nation.