The lies that have accompanied the push for the passage of so-called “right-to-work” laws in state after state aren’t new. Repeatedly, there is a promise of increased business and more jobs for those that ultimately enact it.
While it’s understandable why such a message might have sway in areas that are economically depressed, that’s not the case everywhere. Take Missouri, for instance. Numbers released last month by the federal government showed the “Show Me” state created 57,100 jobs in the year ending November 2016, more than all seven of its contiguous neighbors. Six of the states are RTW, for what it’s worth.
As outgoing Gov. Jay Nixon said in December, “This report showing Missouri leading the region in job growth is more proof that hard work pays off. By balancing budgets and making smart investments in our students and workers, we’ve positioned Missouri to compete and win in the global economy.”
Yet, new Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is pushing forward with implementing RTW. Why? The state is doing well while at the same time allowing Missourians more opportunity to earn a wage that allows them to support their families thanks to their ability to collectively bargain.
Maybe he and the Republican-controlled Legislature don’t know that 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.
However, that is likely not the case. Instead, they have decided to turn a blind eye to this corporate-fueled attack on everyday Missourians who are just trying to earn a living to support their families. These out-of-state special interests are targeting the state to lower wages and cut benefits for workers so they can increase their profits even more.
Constituents are being cast aside for cash. And that is a shame.