Jefferson City – Instead of focusing on creating jobs and strengthening Missouri’s economy, Republican House leaders in the House of Representatives, under the influence of radical right-wing extremists, have once again filed legislation that would authorize a phony right-to-work (for less) law in Missouri.
In the very first hours of pre-filing for the 2014 legislative session, House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka and Republican floor leader John Diehl of Town & Country joined Rep. Donna Lichtenegger of Jackson, in introducing the union-busting legislation.
The legislation is sponsored in Missouri and other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate financed lobby spending millions in states around the country promoting an agenda that is anti-union, anti-public schools and in favor of reducing taxes on corporations and the rich. In recent years, they have succeeded in getting these passed in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. All were previously strong union states.
“Missouri’s elected leaders should work together to create jobs here in our state,” said Mike Louis, Secretary Treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “While it isn’t a surprise that extremist politicians would instead file a ‘right to work’ (for less) bill on the first day of session, it is shameful that they would make this unnecessary and confusing bill their first priority for 2014. It is time for our elected officials to work together to create good jobs and safe work places instead of trying to micromanage relationships between businesses and their employees.
“Right to work (for less) bills are wrong for Missouri. It’s a corporate power grab that’s in the best interests of CEOs – not our state,” Louis said.
Bobby Dickens, a utility line foreman from Poplar Bluff noted that numerous studies have shown that ‘Right to Work’ means less jobs, lower wages and more dangerous workplaces. He criticized Lichtenegger for “doing the bidding of special interest groups like ALEC.”
Sean Soendker Nicholson, executive director of Progress Missouri, said the ALEC bill represents a corruption and distortion of our democracy.
“Missourians want legislators to represent and protect Missouri’s interests, not those of outside corporate interests working through secretive front groups,” he said. “These so-called ‘right to work’ bills are tired attempts to silence workers and harm the entire middle class in Missouri.”