The Missouri Senate is expected to debate so-called “Right to Work” (RTW) during the week of January 23. Gov. Eric Greitens highlighted Right to Work at the beginning of his first State of the State address on January 17. (Read a full transcript at: https://governor.mo.gov/news/speeches/2017-state-state-address.)
Despite Gov. Greitens’ claims that RTW is needed for Missouri to compete with surrounding states for jobs, there is little evidence that this is truly a priority for company owners. According to an article by David Nicklaus of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on January 22, executives did not list RTW in their top ten answers when asked what they consider when locating a new facility, according to Area Development, a magazine for corporate planners and site selection consultants. See full article by Nicklaus at: http://bit.ly/2kkIPaO
Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown (R- Rolla), is a controversial measure that would make it a crime punishable by incarceration for business owners to negotiate labor contracts that require workers to pay dues for the union representation they receive. It was debated briefly on January 22 before being laid over so that senators could attend a charity event. It is expected to come to the floor again repeatedly this week.
Labor unions refer to such bills as “Right to Work (for Less)” because of evidence that RTW states have lower wages when comparing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, RTW states have higher rates of poverty and infant mortality, lower rates of health insurance, and higher rates of workplace fatalities. See a compilation of sources for these claims at: http://bit.ly/2jqWD3R
The Missouri House of Representatives has already taken up and passed House Bill (HB) 91 from Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) by a mostly party line vote of 100-59 (with most Republicans voting yes and most Democrats voting no). This bill also may reach the Senate floor for debate.
Call or email your state senator right now and tell them to vote no on “Right to Work (for Less)” regardless of the bill number. To find your Missouri senators contact information, go to: http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx
Pro-tip: save your legislators’ numbers in your cell phone so you don’t have to look it up each time. Star it in your “favorites” section next to your go-to babysitter, your spouse, your BFF. We’re going to be giving you lots of reasons to call them.