Standing with workers, strengthening our economy



We celebrate Labor Day to honor American workers and the role they continue to play in creating a strong and prosperous nation. Labor Day reminds us that the rights won by the labor movement benefit all workers, and calls us to keep fighting to keep the American Dream alive for every Missouri family.

Skilled workers build our homes, teach our kids, keep our streets safe, and maintain our roads and bridges. Here in Missouri, skilled union labor builds the best-selling truck in America, the Ford F-150, and the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, the Chevy Colorado. Union hands build the F/A-18, the nation’s first strike-fighter that continues to fight terror and protect our servicemen and women around the globe.

Today, with our economy driven by the strength of the middle class, giving workers the freedom to make their voices heard is more important now than ever before. That is why Missourians can be proud that a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly continue to stand firm in opposition to House Bill 116, the so-called “Right-to-Work” bill that I vetoed in June.


“Right-to-Work” is a divisive scheme with a misleading name. The truth is that House Bill 116 is simply another attempt by out-of-state special interests to undercut the wages of all workers and further tilt the balance of our economy away from the majority of Missourians. In states that have passed similar laws, workers make thousands of dollars less per year. This bill would also threaten the livelihoods of everyday heroes like cops, firefighters, nurses and teachers – hard working, dedicated men and women who are vital to the strength of our communities.

For generations, the ability of workers to join together and bargain collectively for fair wages and benefits has formed the foundation of the American middle class. It has lifted the living standards of working families everywhere – union and non-union. Now, just as our economy is picking up steam, “Right-to-Work” would take our state backwards by lowering wages and silencing the voices of workers.

Fortunately, there is a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans who see this bad bill for what it is: a dangerous distraction from the priorities that are moving our state forward – like balancing budgets, improving our local schools and making college more affordable.


Over the past several months, I have talked to thousands of Missourians on both sides of the aisle and in all corners of the state who are urging the legislature to sustain my veto of House Bill 116 because they understand that a trained and capable workforce benefits all Missouri families.

When the General Assembly returns to the Capitol on September 16, I trust that members of the legislature will stand with the working men and women of our state, uphold my veto of House Bill 116, and continue building a stronger and more prosperous Missouri.

SURROUNDED BY UNION leaders, members and political allies, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the Missouri Legislature’s anti-worker right-to-work measure (HB 116) June 4 in a ceremony at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36’s union hall and training center in St. Louis.

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