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Letter to the Editor: Labor stands-up for working families

Paycheck deception and Right-to-Work legislation threatens to take away the voices of working families at the bargaining table and in the legislature, and will threaten our communities in the long run. Corporate CEOs and the politicians they influence are trying to silence hardworking Missourians — simply put, this legislation is unfair, misguided and hurts our communities.

Corporations give unlimited money and resources in order to purchase influence at the statehouse. Corporate lobbyists have exempted themselves from playing by the same rules they are trying to make everybody else play by — in fact, they are creating their own rules. Paycheck deception and “right to work” bills are an attempt to force more government interference with the freedoms of private individuals and businesses by restricting their right to negotiate with their employees.

It’s time for politicians to stop attacking their opponents and start working to create jobs and help the middle class here in Missouri. Our elected officials should focus on solving the problems of the middle class instead of giving even more power to the corporate CEOs. As our shaky economy recovers, bills like these are the last thing we need.

Passing paycheck deception and ‘right-to-work’ legislation would open the floodgates for larger attacks on public employee unions, and would put our safety at risk. This legislation would mean increased patient-loads for nurses, use of risky contractors for important construction projects, and dangerous cuts to police and fire. This bill will make it harder for workers to join together for better wages and benefits, job security, and safer workplaces.

In events like this week’s snowstorm, it would mean fewer trucks on the road to provide clearing and allow for safe travel! I cannot stress enough the negative impact on the providing of a safe and adequate infrastructure that paycheck deception and right-to-work legislation would cause! I mean the brick and mortar as well as the people infrastructure. Safe roads, bridges, sewer and water systems, schools, and hospitals are a must! Just as important as the builders of these infrastructures, are those that provide the ongoing service after construction; teachers, nurses, policemen, firemen, sanitation workers, etc. The list goes on. These are the physical and social issues that cannot be ignored!

Speaking as a Laborer, I think it is important for the community at large to realize that labor stands up for all working families. An attack on any segment of workers is an attack on all workers. We stand together and united to ensure that each of us gets a seat at the table for fair working conditions at the workplace, which in turn provides for quality community services. I call on the Missouri statehouse to reject paycheck deception and right-to-work legislation, and do the job they were sent to do — bring good paying jobs and expand access to vital services.

Gary Elliot
Business Manager
Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council

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