Thursday, August 24, 2017
HomeNewsPolitics‘Open for Business!’: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Signs ‘Right to Work’ Law

‘Open for Business!’: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Signs ‘Right to Work’ Law

Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens signs "right to work" legislation.
Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens signs "right to work" legislation.

Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens signs “right to work” legislation.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed “right-to-work” legislation on Monday making The Show-Me State the latest in a growing movement backed by the public.

“Today, I signed Right to Work,” Gov. Greitens said in a statement. “This is about more jobs – Missourians are ready to work, and now our state is open for business!”

Missouri now joins Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia at a time when the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found union membership at a 100-year low since the year 2014. Now, with a string of victories, right to work proponents will now target New Hampshire with an aim to reform one of the labor unions’ last remaining strongholds.

If passed, The Granite State will become the first in the Northeast to approve “right-to-work” legislation. The bill, which prohibits unions from forcing employees to join or pay dues, is set for a vote in the state’s House next week and has already passed the Senate.

Consistent with year-over-year declines measured in the past, just 10 percent of Americans identified as union members in a Gallup poll conducted in August last year. At the heart of unions’ declining membership problems lays a long-observed ideological shift in America and distrust that is fueling increased disapproval in organized labor.

“At the same time Americans express greater approval than disapproval of unions, they widely support right-to-work laws,” said Jeffrey M. Jones at Gallup.

A whopping 71 percent of Americans say they would vote for a right to work law, while 82 percent of Americans agree that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his will,” a central tenet of right to work philosophy.

In January, Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin signed a similar bill after it overwhelmingly passed in the Republican-led legislature. In New Hampshire, right to work hasn’t been and still won’t be as easy to get through even though Republicans won the governorship in New Hampshire last November.

State Rep. Stephen Schmidt, the Republican chairman of the House labor committee, said there are Republicans who are not going to support the bill. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is expected to sign it if it passes, but Rep. Schmidt said it could come down to one or two votes.

“I believe it will be a very tight vote one way or another,” he said.

A similar measure passed the legislature in 2011, but was vetoed by then-Democratic Gov. John Lynch. The local branch of the AFL-CIO, which was an ally to the former governor, claimed the bill would hurt working families’ ability to bargain for higher wages.

“This bill will silence the teachers who advocate on behalf of smaller class sizes for our children, the transportation employees who negotiate for the equipment they need to keep the roads clear after a blizzard and the police and firefighters who negotiate for the staffing levels they need to keep us safe,” the New Hampshire union said.

As Republicans move right to work in the states, the vast majority of which they control completely, lawmakers in Congress are introducing national versions despite union pushback. Still, even before the widespread Democratic defeats down ballot in 2010 and 2014, then again in 2016, 24 states had already passed right to work laws.

“This bill will silence the teachers who advocate on behalf of smaller class sizes for our children, the transportation employees who negotiate for the equipment they need to keep the roads clear after a blizzard and the police and firefighters who negotiate for the staffing levels they need to keep us safe,” the New Hampshire union said.

Last week, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., unveiled and introduced the National Right to Work Act, which would amend the National Labor Relations Act to give American workers the “right” not to be forced to join a union or pay union dues.

The Supreme Court ruled on the issue, as well, but stopped short of dealing with public labor unions.

“Right-to-work states, like South Carolina, have seen first-hand that job creation and economic growth comes from expanded freedoms. We need to expand common-sense reforms, like those in the National Right to Work Act to protect American workers and create jobs,” Rep. Wilson said.

But AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka cited lower wages, which Republicans argue are due to artificial labor markets created by unions and are the cause of state budget crises.

“Right to work is a lie dressed up in a feel-good slogan. It doesn’t give workers freedom—instead, it weakens our right to join together and bargain for better wages and working conditions,” Mr. Trumka said in a statement responding to Wilson’s legislation. “Its end goal is to destroy unions. Numbers don’t lie. Workers in states with right to work laws have wages that are 12 percent lower. That’s because unions raise wages for all workers, not just our members.”

While Republican President Donald J. Trump is seen by union leadership as a friends to labor, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he supports the efforts in the states and on the national level.

“The president believes in right to work. He wants to give workers and companies the flexibility to do what’s in the best interest for job creators,” Mr. Spicer said.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

People's Pundit Daily covers breaking news and headlines in politics, business, the economy, markets, health and world news. Data-driven political analysis and commentary from the most accurate election projection model on the Internet.

Latest comment

  • Missouri is the northeast?

leave a comment

Subscriber-Funded. Dangerously Accurate.

2

Articles Remaining This Month

Login | Subscribe

Donate Corporate