By State Representative Joshua Peters
Last week, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a measure that victimizes middle and working class families in Missouri. The passage of the so-called “Right to Work” bill is aimed at lowering wages and filling wealthy corporations’ pocket books.
The bill deceives the general public, claiming that its passage would create more jobs in Missouri, which has yet to be proven by its advocates. The bill’s threatening status spans through sixty years of unkempt promises, especially in Mississippi and Arkansas, where it was passed decades ago.
The bill deteriorated hourly wages by undermining the power of organized labor, a band of advocates who fought for higher wages, benefits, and better working conditions. Missouri had been protected from the excesses of the Republican majority in the House and Senate knowing that Governor Nixon could block anti-worker legislation through a veto.
Unfortunately, the election of our current Republican Governor places our vulnerable populations at a risk. Checks and balances have been eradicated at the State and Federal level, allowing corporate greed to run rampant. As it stands, the Democratic minority seems to be a voice in the wilderness, but a voice that the people of Missouri need to hear.
We fought to pass a simple amendment, which would have allowed the measure to go to a vote of the people. Our efforts were challenged and ultimately defeated by the Republican majority, denying the people of Missouri the right to vote on this new policy.
The wealthy poured millions of dollars into our past elections to buy the votes to pass the so-called “Right to Work”. Despite their wealth, and all of the propaganda they could by with it, they continue to cower at the thought of giving the people the chance to vote. They fear that the people of Missouri could, in fact, listen to the voice in the wilderness and make the right decision.
As Missourians, we must urge these oligarchs to take accountability of their compromising decisions. We must support a petition to demand a statewide vote. We must lead Missouri’s middle and working class families out of the wilderness.