With Governor Greitens’ signature on SB 19 (Senate Bill 19), the so-called “Right to Work” bill, the war on Missouri workers hastens. The bill strips workers of the right to freely enter into collective bargaining contracts with their employers for better healthcare, better wages, and better opportunities. Families of the 50th District need more opportunities, not less.
For years, Caleb Jones and his allies have accepted corporate campaign donations to peddle the myth that “Right to Work” legislation would drive job growth. The facts tell a different story: Missouri had higher job growth than all “Right to Work” neighbor states in the last 12 months, adding more jobs than Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas combined while Kansas and Oklahoma lost nearly 20,000 total jobs. Even the owner of the shuttered warehouse in Springfield where Governor Greitens chose to sign the bill admitted to the Springfield News-Leader that his business went under because of offshore competition, not because of a failure to pass “Right to Work” legislation. Missouri workers need to be asking their elected representatives why they listen to corporations instead of the facts.
The reality is that big businesses are looking for skilled labor, high-quality education and improved infrastructure. This administration, with advisement from Caleb Jones, seems intent on destroying all three. MoDOT has been warning of impending budget shortfalls for years that would leave them unable to even maintain our highway system. Additionally, Governor Greitens chose to gut higher education as a way to meet the budget shortfalls, caused by the corporate tax loopholes our legislature conveniently instituted. Even still, if large manufacturers find their way to Missouri, despite our lack of basic investment in infrastructure and people, they will not be the “job creators” as promised.
Reported in Fortune Magazine, of the 5 million manufacturing jobs lost in the United States since 2000, 88% were lost to robots or other factors within the business. Between “Right to Work” and this administration’s dedication to corporations, real people in the 50th will suffer unnecessarily as wages are cut and jobs are erased.