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Betrays American Dream of Good, Middle-Class Jobs
Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2017) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, today made the following statement regarding Missouri’s passage of so-called “right to work” legislation:
By passing Right to Work legislation, which Missouri Governor Greitens is poised to sign, Missouri lawmakers have done nothing more than to slash wages, reduce benefits, and worsen working conditions for the very blue-collar workers that have demanded change and a stronger middle-class in the last election.
As the state of Missouri stands poised to become the 28th so-called “right to work” state in the union, the hard-working men and women who are the state’s backbone stand to suffer. On average, they will make $5,300 less per year than their counterparts in states without such laws. Those that have employer-provided health-care coverage may well lose it, as workers in states with these laws are 28% less likely to have such insurance than workers in other states. And, with workplace death rates in so-called “right to work” states 36% higher than in other states, Missouri work places will become significantly more dangerous and deadly.
Far from protecting Missouri workers, this bill makes it easier for anti-worker employers to silence and exploit them. So-called “right to work” laws are designed to bankrupt the labor unions that not only protect their members, but that improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for all workers. Far from carrying the state to new economic heights, so-called “right to work” legislation will spark a race to the bottom that will sink Missouri’s working families to new economic lows.
So-called “right to work” laws betray the American dream, and break the great American promise that if you work hard, you can build a better life for yourself and your family. Elected officials who support these laws are out of touch with working-class Americans who strive to put roofs over their heads, food on their tables, clothes on their backs, and a better way of life for their families.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.