Jefferson City – Paycheck deception legislation, seen by extremist politicians and their corporate backers as another path to make Missouri a so-called right-to-work state, was rushed through Missouri House committees.
The measure combines HB159 and HB570, both sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston)
Like right-to-work, paycheck deception (with a wink and nudge its supporters call it “paycheck protection”) does nothing to create good jobs or an economy that works for all Missourians.
Rehder’s combined bills would require public sector workers workers to give annual written permission for union dues to be taken out of their paychecks.
The bill would also require similar approval for unions to spend worker fees on political activities.
Despite its name, paycheck deception has nothing to do with “choice” or protecting worker, but is an attack on unions, forcing them to spend more resources collecting dues so they have less ability to advocate for workers at workplaces and in politics.
Speaking at a recent press conference at the offices of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council at which it was announced that area construction unions had agreed to work three eight-hour shifts at straight time to reduce overtime costs and speed construction on a proposed $985 million stadium on the St. Louis riverfront, Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, called the legislation “completely unnecessary.”
“Working Missourians are counting on their elected officials on both sides of the aisle to choose their constituents instead of pandering to the millionaires and billionaires trying to rewrite our state’s laws in their favor at the expense of everyone else,” Louis said.
“This opportunity (the stadium project) shows that labor and contractors, and all kinds of different businesses, can work together and we don’t need forced laws telling us what we can negotiate in a contract.”
Pat White, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, said paycheck deception and right-to-work are “designed to do nothing but take workers’ voices away and silence their ability to have people representing them in Jefferson City.”
These bills will do noting to create jobs or improve the state’s economy, White said. They’re about politics.
“That’s what it’s all about,” White said.