Missouri lawmakers pass paycheck deception measure

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Missouri Capitol Jefferson City – (UPDATED) The Missouri Legislature has passed a paycheck deception bill, despite a concerted effort by Labor leaders and worker-friendly Democrats and Republicans to stop the anti-union, anti-worker bill requiring public employees to give annual consent for money to be taken out of their paychecks for union dues.

A final version of the bill was approved by the House Thursday.

Following a Democratic filibuster that stretched late into the night, the Republican-controlled Senate passed the paycheck bill Tuesday

The measure then went back to the House, where it was approved Thursday by a vote of 109-49.

Republicans have backed so-called "paycheck protection" bills for years, saying that union members should have a greater say in how their dues are spent. Labor leaders, Democrats and some union friendly Republicans have opposed the measures, saying they are an unnecessary attack on unions and a thinly veiled effort to get to the ultimate goal of right-to-work.

Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO expressed disappointment with the vote.

“Today after witnessing a very disappointing vote in the Missouri House I am very disheartened that the number of legislators supporting paycheck deception was more than expected," Louis said.

“The sole purpose of paycheck deception legislation is, 1), to weaken all unions and the ability to speak up for workers; 2), to further skew the political balance of power in our state toward corporations and wealthy individuals and; 3), to silence the voices of working people," Louis said.

“We are disappointed that some legislators who have supported organized labor voted for this unnecessary bill, which will further tilt the playing field to the powerful corporations while drowning out the voices of Missouri’s working people," he added.

“But as members of organized labor, we focus on the work ahead and will stand with members of the legislature that support working people and our issues,” Louis concluded.

(See full coverage in the March 10 print edition of the Labor Tribune.)

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