Teamsters

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Mo. House shows corporations it stands with workers

President Hoffa joined with workers in Missouri to say no to right-to-work.

Missouri Teamsters and workers around the state got their wish late yesterday when the Legislature stood up for everyday people by saying no to so-called right-to-work (RTW) in the state again.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers in the Missouri House held firm against out-of-state corporate interests that sought to override the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon and cut wages and worker protections in the "Show Me" state.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, who joined hundreds of union members from across the state at Teamsters Local 41 in Kansas City last Saturday to support Nixon's veto, said legislators made the right call for workers:

I would like to thank the state legislators who put aside their partisan differences and came together to uphold Gov. Nixon's veto. They recognized that right-to-work is wrong for working families and wrong for the State of Missouri. This has been a true victory for all Missourians.

The victory comes at a time when some are trying to ramp up RTW efforts across the country. While groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and billionaire industrialists the Koch brothers have long wanted to gut collective bargaining, one of their favorite elected officials -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker -- took the issue national this week when he said he would attempt to impose no-rights-at-work if elected president.

There's one big problem for the anti-worker crowd, however. The people don't want RTW, and they're letting their elected officials know it. That's why the issue failed in Missouri and West Virginia this year. At a time when income inequality is growing nationally, the public isn't interested in legislation that would only expand the wallet of big business, not workers.

As President Hoffa wrote in the Huffington Post this week:

Those living in RTW states have a higher poverty rate than those in ones that support collective bargaining. In fact, nine of the 10 highest poverty states are RTW. That, in part, is attributable to lower salaries and benefits. Those with no rights at work make almost $1,500 a year less. They are also less likely to receive employer-based health insurance or pensions as well.

Now is not the time for empty givebacks to the corporate class. Missouri legislators got the message. Others need to wise up.

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