Jefferson City – The Missouri Senate General Rules Committee is considering a pair of bills that would revive the specter of “right-to-work” and enact “paycheck deception” in the state.
Senate Bill 118 (SB 118) would again try to make Missouri a so-called “right-to-work” state. SB 244 would enact “paycheck deception.” The General Rules Committee held hearings on the bills Feb. 23, but no action was taken.
The bills are just two of 155 anti-worker, anti-union bills Republicans have introduced this legislative session – 39 of which have been flagged as critical by the Missouri AFL-CIO, and all of which represent a direct attack on workers having a fair shake in the workplace.
“Is this what we want in Missouri?” Missouri AFL-CIO President Jake Hummel asked in a recent email to union members and Labor supporters. “Do we want to join the race to the bottom?”
For corporate-backed Republican lawmakers, the answer to that question is apparently “Yes.”
Two key Missouri senators who are fighting against anti-worker, anti-union bills are Sen. Lauren Arthur (D–parts of Clay County) and Sen. Greg Razer (D–part of Jackson County).
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
“These senators are the first line of defense against these two critical anti-worker bills,” Hummel said in the email asking union members to sign an online petition and to contact both senators and let them know they have workers’ support in their fight against the two anti-worker bills.
The petition thanking the senators can be signed at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-right-to-work-sign-the-petition-to-support-our-allies.
CONTACT THE SENATORS
• Senator Authur can be reached at 573-751-5282 or through her office’s contact page at https://www.senate.mo.gov/DistrictWebApplication/disclaimer?DistrictNumber=17.
• Senator Razer can be reached 573-751-6607 or through his office’s contact page at www.senate.mo.gov/DistrictWebApplication/Contact?DistrictNumber=07.
MISSOURIANS UNITED TO DEFEAT ‘RTW’
“In 2018, Missourians united together and defeated “right-to-work” by a huge 67.47 percent margin,” Hummel said. “We do not want this anti-worker law in our state.
“Since the defeat of Proposition A in 2018 things in ‘right-to-work’ states have gotten worse,” Hummel stressed:
- “Right-to-work” states make $11,628 LESS a year per household than in free states like Missouri.
- Workplace deaths are 37 percent HIGHER in RTW vs. free states.
- Workers younger than 65 in RTW states are more likely to NOT have health insurance than the same workers in free states.
- Poverty rates for workers and children in RTW states are HIGHER than in free states.
- RTW states spend 31.6 percent LESS per student for elementary and secondary education.
“Paycheck deception laws create unfair regulations that limit free speech. The only goal of SB 244 is to attack and weaken union workers’ voices,” Hummel said.
Under the proposed law, union members would be required to opt in annually to have their union dues withdrawn from their paychecks.
“The bill has one purpose and one purpose only: to weaken our unions financially, which will severely and adversely affect our ability to bargain and negotiate collectively for decent wages and benefits and safety,” said Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council.
‘NOT IN MISSOURI!’
“We urge all union members to take a few minutes to call or email both senators to let them know workers have their backs,” added John Stiffler, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building Trades Council. “These bills are only two of a number of efforts by the Republican-controlled legislature to destroy our unions so workers are left to the mercy of their employers. Not in Missouri! Please call or email senators Authur and Razer as soon as possible.”