Right to work is wrong for Missouri workers and businesses

03/24/2014 7:13 PM

03/24/2014 7:13 PM

So-called right to work is wrong for Missouri businesses and middle class families. The best way to ensure economic security for Missouri’s working families is through quality jobs with family supporting wages and quality benefits. A good wage creates a consumer that with a disposable income that can purchase a good or service from local businesses investing in the local community. This creates a sustainable and virtuous economic cycle with broadly shared prosperity and economic mobility for workers.

So-called right to work destroys the balance of power and harms the relationship between employers and employees through government intervention in the collective bargaining process. Missouri businesses and workers should be allowed to continue to have a strong partnership on labor-management issues and not be driven apart by divisive anti-worker laws.

The AFL-CIO Trades’ Health and Welfare funds provides over $842.5 million in health benefits to members in Missouri, Missouri’s trades have invested over $68.4 million in apprenticeship and journeyman training for the next generation of highly skilled workers that businesses are seeking to hire, and pension investment in Missouri over the last decade has been over $930 million.

Business and labor working together in partnership participate with many charitable foundations and not-for profit volunteer causes, that help the less fortunate and most vulnerable Missourians, including Project Heats On, Salvation Army’s Christmas Charity, United Way’s Annual Giving, and Project Porch Light.

With the partnership out of equilibrium all wages are lowered, whether a union member or not. In right to work states, unemployment rates are higher, wages are lower, families are left without health insurance and children lack quality education. Supporters of this low road scheme falsely claim this law will make Missouri competitive, ignoring the fact that six of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates in the nation have adopted this law. The median wages in these states are significantly less on average, $535 per month lower. There are also more children without health insurance and $3,500 less invested per student in these states. The loss of a safe work environment makes for a 36 percent increase in workplace deaths.

Of the top site selection factors for business the availability of skilled labor ranked first and and transportation structure ranked second. Right to work did not even rank as a top 10 concern for business in the 2012 Area Development magazine corporate survey.

These facts prove that so-called right to work is wrong for Missouri businesses and middle class families. The Missouri General Assembly focus on creating good jobs and improving Missouri’s economy for all Missourians not divisive anti-worker laws.


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