by Namita Waghray | May 15, 2015
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The anti-worker majority in the Missouri Legislature passed so-called “right to work” legislation last week, defying Gov. Jay Nixon to issue his promised veto of the bill.
The legislation allows workers to receive the benefits of a union contract without having to share in the costs of collective bargaining. A “model” created by the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), such “right-to-work” scams are meant to under undermine workers’ rights by weakening their unions.
The measure was approved 92-66 in the state House on May 13, one day after the Senate passed the bill, 21-13. Despite its approval, opponents worked on both sides of the aisle to defeat the measure. Of the members who voted against it in both houses, 27 were Republicans.
The vote fell short of the two-thirds necessary to override an expected veto by Governor Nixon, who condemned the vote.
"Attacking workers and weakening the middle class will not create jobs," Nixon said. "In fact, rolling back the rights of working people would weaken our economy by lowering wages and making it harder for middle class families to move up the economic ladder." Read his full statement.
Similar anti-worker legislation is being pushed in other states as well. Lawmakers in Kentucky and New Mexico rejected such bills earlier this year, and Missouri workers have warned that the right-to-work scam will hurt the state’s economy.
“I care for Missouri's heroes and I can barely make ends meet on my already low salary," said Wendy Battaglia, a certified nurse assistant at the Cameron Veteran's Home, AFSCME Council 72. "Right-to-work will make it even harder for workers across Missouri to get a fair shake so they can care for their own families.”
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