Clergy and civic leaders share why they oppose Right to Work, Paycheck Protection and other Anti-Worker Legislation Introduced in the upcoming session of the Missouri Legislature.

Rev. Jim Hill, Executive Director, Churchnet, a Service to Baptist Congregations

Protecting the Dignity of Labor

The national battle between conservative groups and labor unions has come to our state. Outside groups are applying pressure on our Missouri legislature to pass controversial legislation that would strip unions of the power to compel workers in union shops to join. The legislation is known as Right to Work, would allow employees to decide whether to join a union, and whether to pay union dues.

In reality the legislation is an effort to break or reduce the power of organized labor. Unions in the 24 states that have passed Right to Work have seen sharp drop-offs in dues-paying members after the law takes effect.

As a person of faith I believe that if the dignity of work is to remain protected, then the basic rights of workers must be protected. I believe we must protect workers by providing fair wages, freedom from discrimination, and the right to organize and join unions. I believe in justice and in the common good.

Right-to-work laws go against everything I believe. Economists tell us that right-to-work laws devastate economic justice. They lower wages for all workers, and they lessen benefits for all workers. They increase poverty in our communities. “Right to Work” laws drive down wages and make it harder for working families to find jobs with good wages and decent pension plans. These laws do not have anything to do with “rights” or “freedom,” but instead they make it harder for working families to get by.

If Missouri were to pass this law, wages would go down and our entire community would suffer. As Governor Nixon pointed out recently, last year Missouri ranked in the top 10 nationally in private sector job growth which is better than every single one of our “Right to Work” neighbors.

It is clear that this issue is not really about jobs, rights, or freedom. It is an out of state, special interest agenda designed to drive down wages for working families. Instead of trying to fix something that isn’t broken and engaging in such partisan, divisive tactics, the legislature should focus on real issues like Medicaid expansion and improving education.

Right-to-work laws do not help the least among us. Rather, they enrich those who already hold most of the power and wealth. They foster extreme inequality, inequality that can only lead to extreme disparities and extreme division. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet proclaims, “Woe to those who make unjust laws.” I encourage you to make your voice heard. Tell you legislator to vote NO on the “Right to Work” and “Paycheck Deception” bills that come up for a vote this year.

 

The Rev. Jon Stratton, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Louis

Opponents of Right-to-Work say it’s wrong for Missouri because it results in lower wages. I agree. Right-to-Work is wrong, but not only because it decreases spending power. Right-to-Work is wrong because it does not bless human labor.

 

Every week my community offers God bread and wine and asks that He bless it and make it for us the Body and Blood of Christ. There’s a reason why Christians offer bread and wine rather than grapes and grain. It takes human effort to harvest the grain, mill the flour, bake the dough, transport the bread, and stock the grocery store shelves. It takes human toil to crush the grapes, strain the juice, ferment the drink, and market the wine. By offering these products on the altar, we are asking God to bless our labor, and we’re declaring that our relationship with Christ is related to how we order the human economy. Bread and wine (signs of work) become the Body and Blood (signs of Christ) when blessed by God.

Right-to-work is a curse, not a blessing to labor in our state. It devalues our citizenry’s time, talent, and toil by jeopardizing the rights and protections procured by generations past. God blesses human labor around the altar on Sundays and we meet Christ in the Bread and Wine, products of our work. If we wish for our world to better reflect what we proclaim in our worship, then making Missouri a Right-to-Work state is a step in the wrong direction.

 

The Rev. Dr. Martin J. Rafanan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Right To Work?

John Diehl, our Missouri House Speaker wants to make so called “Worker Freedom” a key emphasis for the legislature by passing “Right to Work” and “Paycheck Protection” bills. This legislation has nothing to do with workers’ rights or workers’ protection. Actually, these bills attack both. They undermine the ability of workers to have a voice and to organize opposition to the out-of-state, well-heeled efforts of extremists and the 1%.

This legislation does not benefit workers or improve the state's economy; rather, where they are implemented, they decrease wages, benefits and safety in the workplace. They don't create jobs or guarantee jobs but make it easier for employers to keep their labor costs depressed.

Working Missourians have experienced the brunt of the recession. Wages have stayed stagnant or decreased while corporations are raking in enormous profits and sit on mountains of cash that allow their CEO's pay to increase dramatically. This anti-worker legislation intends to keep the same process in place to the detriment of Missouri's workers, their families and our community.

Let's end this once and for all. Support working families. Oppose Right to Work and Paycheck Protection.

 

Ruth Ehresman, Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice

Kudos to Archbishop Carlson and the members of the Interfaith Partnership for affirming the importance of workers’ rights to organize, and for underscoring how “right to work” efforts undermine economic justice.

 The legislation proposed in Missouri is an affront to people across faith traditions. The values of dignity and respect that are at the core of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and all great religions cannot be separated from the rights of workers to organize in order to seek fair and adequate wages, safe working conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

 As a person of faith, I believe passionately in the common good. I believe that the welfare of this community, this state, and this country is inextricably tied to the welfare of those who struggle most to meet their family’s basic needs. As an individual, I believe I am challenged to support the common good through my own actions and life. But I am also called to assure that government at every level fulfills its responsibility to support that common good. Government does this proactively by providing transportation, education and health infrastructure, for example. But laws can also be destructive; laying the groundwork for inequity and powerlessness for the most vulnerable. Such laws are both immoral and imprudent.

 Studies by economists back up the multi-faith traditions perspective on the importance of workers’ rights to organize. They tell us that “right to work” laws lower wages for all workers and lessen benefits for them. More individuals and families live in poverty. And we are all the poorer for it.

 

The Rev. Mark Bradshaw Miller, Westminister Presbyterian Church

As a minister I am concerned whenever and whenever working families struggle. The promotion of social righteousness is one of the great ends of our church. We are called to speak out against unjust laws. Today I write because the Missouri legislature is working to enact more unjust laws. Right to work and paycheck protection do not help Missouri and they do not help working families in Missouri.

 Right to Work and Paycheck Protection are part of a coordinated, cynical campaign designed to deceive the citizens of Missouri. No matter the name, the goal of both is to destroy the power of working families to have a voice, benefits, and decent work. Simply put, these policies have nothing to do with the right to work or protection of paychecks. Whenever these policies are implemented the results are the same: Lower wages, lower benefits, and decreased workplace safety. This is not good for families, and it is not good for Missouri.

 It is time to end the deception and lies. It is time to raise our voices. It is time to stand with working families in Missouri. Let us join together and say, “No,” to Paycheck Protection and Right to Work and, “yes,” to a better tomorrow for all working families.

 

The Rev. C. Jessel Strong, Presiding Elder, African Methodist Episcopal Church and Former President of the St Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and Interfaith Partnership of Metro St Louis

I would respectfully ask that you oppose so-called “Right to Work.” As a retired person, the money that I was able to earn in my working life and the pension that I have now are very important to me being able to maintain my standard of living. “Right to Work” laws drive down wages and make it harder for working families to find jobs with good wages and decent pension plans. These laws don’t have anything to do with “rights” or “freedom,” but instead make it harder for working families to get by.

If “Right to Work” becomes law, working families are going to have less money to spend. In this economy, I think we should be focusing on ways that businesses and labor unions can work together to create good jobs instead of the government focusing on such divisive, partisan issues.

If Missouri were to pass this law, wages would go down and our entire community would suffer. As Governor Nixon pointed out recently, last year Missouri ranked in the top 10 nationally in private sector job growth- better than every single one of our “Right to Work” neighbors. Workers in states with “Right to Work” laws earn $2,000 less/year, receive fewer benefits, and are more likely to die in the workplace. When you look at other “Right to Work” states, like Oklahoma, workers earn lower wages and receive fewer benefits. I think politicians should be on the side of working families and not the big money special interests that are pushing these laws.

 If “Right to Work” passes, I am worried that my children and grandchildren will not be able to have the same type of retirement that I worked so hard to enjoy. Please, stop these attacks on the middle class and vote NO on any “Right to Work” bills. Thank you.

 

Rabbi Susan Talve, Central Reform Congregation

“Right to Work" Legislation is a Deception

The "right to work" legislation before the Missouri legislature should be called the "right to work for less!" This is an organized effort to break existing unions and prevent workers from organizing. These so called "right to work" laws threaten the very foundation of our country by taking away the voice of workers to protect the basic rights of fair wages, freedom from discrimination and the right to organize. Economists tell us that "right to work" laws devastate economic justice. They lower wages and benefits for all workers. They increase poverty for all people. Workers tell us that these laws decrease cooperation, collaboration, and solidarity.

“Right to Work” laws drive down wages and make it harder for working families to find jobs with good wages and decent pension plans. If “right to work” becomes law, working families are going to have less money to spend, which means businesses could suffer. In this economy, I think we should be focusing on ways that businesses and labor unions can work together to create good jobs instead of the government focusing on such divisive, partisan issues. If Missouri were to pass this law, wages would go down and our entire community would suffer. As Governor Nixon pointed out recently, last year Missouri ranked in the top 10 nationally in private sector job growth- better than every single one of our “right to work” neighbors.

Every major religious denomination has condemned this legislation as attacking the most vulnerable. Right-to-work laws go against everything we believe. They profit those who already hold power and wealth and lead to even more extreme disparities and extreme divisions.

Each of us must take responsibility for speaking out and taking action to prevent a terrible injustice from occurring in Missouri.

 

Deacon Mike Lewis, Parish of St. Patrick, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Right to Work

The hypocrisy of the Republican legislators in Jeff City said returned to our state as a new legislative session begins. Heavily funded by conservative groups outside of our state they continue to push anti-family and anti-worker agenda upon us here in Missouri. My faith tradition teaches as a fundamental truth the right to organize into unions and to work for a living and just wage. Rather than working to create a better life for Missouri families they choose to create a hostile and divisive environment in our state. Right to Work is not an issue of the organized worker versus the unorganized worker; rather, it is and it is a blatant attempt by monied interests from out of state to buy a few votes in Jeff City.

 

Rev. Rebecca Ragland, Episcopal Service Corps,

Like most citizens, I’m concerned about the tampering of national interest groups in our state and local politics, particularly when that tampering adversely affects our citizens. Recently, “Right to Work” and “Paycheck Protection” bills have entered our state legislature supported by a national Political Action Committee. Both of these pieces of legislation seek to undermine organized employees who share power and dues so that they can collectively bargain for fair wages and benefits. We call these organizations “unions”. And lately unions have been getting a bad name. Any organization could improve, but improvement is not what these bills seek. “Right to Work” takes away the ability of unions to collect dues from non-union employees and “Paycheck Protection” requires them to get permission from every individual to collect dues annually. Both bills would disable employees from effectively organizing. This is exactly what ALEC, the national interest group at the root of this, is hoping for. When we disempower the worker, we will lose economic well-being in our region. I urge you to read about this legislation. Then join me and vote, and speak against it.

 

Sister Carla Mae Streeter

A Social Justice Update

As citizens of the state of Missouri, and members of faith traditions that hold social justice in the highest regard, it may be time for a few clarifications as the state of Missouri wrestles with its denial of Medicare Expansion and the bills before its legislature that aim to destroy collective bargaining and break unions.

 Two of our Aquinas faculty and Carla Mae Streeter, OP, attend the Faith and Labor Alliance monthly breakfasts, where faith leaders and labor union representatives meet to discuss legislation that will impact workers and their families.

 Power is not bad. It derives from one of two sources: the organization of people, or the organization of moneyed corporations. For moneyed corporations to seize power over our legislative process, the organization of people (the mission of labor unions) must be destroyed or at least weakened. When this weakening or destruction is effective, a nation finds itself enmeshed in some form of fascism.

 In our day moneyed corporations have banded together in an organization called ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council) with union busting precisely in mind. This group is active in Right to Work and Paycheck Protection legislation in several states. Using positive sounding language, ALEC deceives voters into supporting destructive measures that weaken or destroy the protections that unions offer workers and their families.

 A more correct title for the Workers’ Rights legislation is “Workers’ Rights to Work for Nothing.” The legislation allows workers to refuse to pay union dues. Unions, however, will cover these workers in crisis. The goal is to bankrupt the unions by allowing workers to refrain from supporting them.

 The more correct title for Paycheck Protection legislation is “Paycheck Deception.” The bills demand detailed clerical work on the part of unions to record the intentions of workers as to the use of their dues for causes they support. The reality is that workers already indicate this on their forms, thus causing the unions to duplicate this accountability. The goal again is to bust the unions.

Recently Archbishop Robert E. Carlson, chair of Interfaith Partnership of Greater Metropolitan St. Louis, and vice chair Rev. C. Jessel Strong of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, issued a statement to the press denouncing this legislation in the Missouri state legislature, and exposing its union busting intent.

 In support of this stand, our Aquinas clergy have added their signatures to a letter denouncing this legislation currently before our law-makers. We offer this clarification hoping it will provide you with the basic information to explore these issues on your own as intelligent voters and responsible citizens.

 

Rev. Rudy Pulido

For pastors and church leaders Right to Work is like the fine print found on a contract. We neglect reading it at our own peril. The fine print of Right to Work contains devastating consequences. It’s a fact Right to Work leads to diminished wages. Should Missouri become a Right to Work state churches should begin planning for diminished gifts from their church members. It may not happen immediately but it will happen. This will be especially challenging for the many churches located in the rural parts of our state where wages received by organized laborers prop up the wages earned by others in the area.

As we hope for our children we also hope for our churches. We hope for a better and more opportune tomorrow. If Missouri becomes a Right to Work state our children and our churches both lose.

Justice is a key pillar of faith for both Christians and other faiths. The Psalmist tells us that those who do justice live with God. Economic fairness is essential for a just society and in the American workplace has been accomplished by freely founding unions for working people and the right of those working people to bargain collectively.

So called “Right to Work/ Freedom to Work” laws proposed under the guise of freedom result in weakening workers’ ability to equally bargain for fair compensation in the workplace. They are unjust in their intent and result.

“Right to work “laws render impossible a level playing field in the process of collective bargaining between management and labor. Those proposals are the opposite of fairness and justice and should be opposed by people of faith.

 

Rev. Sherrie Saunders, Associate Pastor of Washington Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, St. Louis

Testimony to the Workforce Committee of the Missouri House: Opposing "Right to Work"

"Right to Work" has no place in Missouri or any other state. The very concept of "right to work" is a smoke screen to keep workers oppressed and depressed. It grants CEO's, special interest politicians and the corporate world the right to pay inferior wages and horrific working conditions.

"Right to Work" extinguishes hope and causes a climate of despair for working families and communities. Workers are disrespected by means of low wages and unsafe working conditions. A worker’s dignity is challenged. This is an atrocity. With "Right to Work" there's no accountability. Workers are harassed and fired without reason and it's because those that are in power do not have to answer to anyone.

As a Christian, I was raised by the Golden Rule as found in Matt 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even do to them, for this is the law and the prophets".

Would CEO's and special interest politicians want to be treated the way they treat their workers? Would a CEO accept low wages, poor working conditions and disrespect?

I encourage a spirit of fairness and human decency which can only be accomplished with the abolishing of any "Right to Work" legislation.

 

Rev. Maureen Dickmann, Pastor, Rock Bridge Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Columbia, Missouri

“Right To Work” Lies

The current push in the Missouri Legislature to deprive working people of a basic right (the right to organize and collectively bargain) is wrong on every level and should be rejected by any legislator who has any moral conscience (admittedly a shrinking demographic in Jefferson City currently). This statement from the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis is says it best:

"Working for economic justice is an integral element of our faith traditions. The right of freely founding unions for working people and the right of those working people to bargain collectively are essential for economic justice. So-called “Right to Work/Freedom to Work” laws proposed under the guise of freedom to the individual worker actually weaken their ability to equally bargain for fair compensation in the workplace, and are obviously and admittedly anti-union in their intent and render impossible or at least weaken the process of collective bargaining between management and labor." It is time for our lawmakers to truly represent the citizens who pay their salaries rather than the corporate lobbyists who shower them 'goodies' to basically buy their votes. If they did so, they would defeat these deliberately misleading measures and even expand Medicaid coverage!

 

Rev. W. T. Edmonson, Associate Minister, Second Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri

Right to Work and Paycheck Protection are part of a coordinated campaign designed to deceive the citizens of Missouri. No matter the name, the goal of both is to destroy the power of working families to have a voice. Whenever these policies are implemented the results are the same, lower wages, lower benefits, and decreased workplace safety. This is not good for families, and it is not good for Missouri.

Supporters of these paycheck deception bills have said their efforts are the first step to a right-to-work state. Extreme politicians do not have a party, they have financial sponsors. Deceptive legislators have for some time now attempted to capture and capitalize on the word "RIGHT." Most of these "right to work" bills are anti-worker, reducing employee wages and benefits.

I am in agreement with many persons of faith who believe that if the dignity of work is to remain protected, then the basic rights of workers must be protected. We must protect workers by providing fair wages and freedom from discrimination, Workers already have the right to decide whether to join a union and whether to pay union dues.

Unions historically have played major roles in moving workers into the middle class so it is painful to see attacks waged against unions in the Missouri Legislature in recent years. Collective bargaining is responsible for building the middle class in this country and faith leaders are called to stand for justice and economic dignity even if we must stand alone. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Proverbs 31:8-9. God bless all who are called to stand against deception coming out of the Missouri Legislature against working Missourians.

 

Rev. Emily Bowen-Marler, Associate Minister, Brentwood Christian Church, Springfield, Missouri
Oppose Right-to-Work

As a person of faith, I am concerned that once again, Right-to-Work bills are making their way into the Missouri Legislature. The title alone is deceptive. It does nothing to ease the ability of Missouri citizens to work and in fact, undermines wages and the ability for workers to stand up for themselves and have a voice in the workplace. What Right-to-Work does is give CEOs, special interests, and corporations the right to pay low wages. That isn’t fighting for Missouri families. That does not honor the dignity of our workers.

Throughout scripture, the prophets cry out for economic justice. In the Gospels, Jesus reaches out to the oppressed and the marginalized. In our time, the oppressed are those who cannot support their families because of low wages. The middle class is shrinking and wages have remained stagnant for far too long, even as corporations and CEOs are taking in more and more money all the time. It is my fervent prayer that we work together to strengthen Missouri families, that we value the dignity of every worker in our state, and that we recognize the ways in which Right-to-Work will undermine all of that.

 

Dr. Tex Sample, Kansas City, Missouri

I am furious that the Missouri House has approved a so-called “Right to Work” bill. This is evil legislation that attempts to serve billionaires and keep American wages in continuing decline.

We continue to see the gross inequalities in wealth and income. Note that the decline of wages in the U.S. correlate directly with the decline of unions.

The Senate needs to defeat this bill and, if necessary, the Governor must veto it. It is bad for middle class Missourians. It only serves the rich, or, more particularly, those of the rich who no longer care about the common good and who are not merely complacent about the financial degradation of Missouri’s working people but actively pursue aims that are sinister and display a wicked lack of morality.

 

Rev. Dr. John H. Bennett, Jefferson City, Missouri

It's troubling to read that the so-called "right-to-work" legislation has a better chance of passing in the Missouri Legislature this year. (News Tribune 2-9-15) Troubling for several reasons, including the fact that this piece of legislation is so deceptively named. This legislation has nothing to do with workers' rights or workers' protection. In fact, the interests of workers are subverted by this misnamed legislation and the continuing anti-union activity at the Missouri Capitol. Also distressing is the fact that this legislation is imported into Missouri by the boilerplate political machine of ALEC (American Legislative Executive Council). In states, where these well-heeled extremists have achieved electoral victory for their ignoble cause, their legislation does not benefit workers or improve the state's economy. Rather, it decreases wages, benefits, and safety in the workplace.

 As a person of faith, I see this legislation under consideration now in the Missouri House, as an affront to people of various faith traditions. The values of dignity and respect that are at the core of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and all great faith traditions, cannot be separated from the rights of workers to organize in order to seek fair and adequate wages, safe working conditions, and freedom from discrimination. Studies by economists support this multi-faith perspective on the rights of workers to organize and enhance their well-being and the common good. They tell us that "right-to-work" laws lower wages for all workers and lessen their benefits so that more workers and families live in poverty. That is not the way to "do justice, love mercy or walk humbly".

 

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Shaar Emeth Congregation, St. Louis

Politicians of all stripes are talking about wanting to do something to help the middle class, but it seems that here, in Missouri, they forgot just what that really means. Instead of helping to lift workers’ wages and benefits, these extremist lawmakers are going after the constitutional right of workers to organize and collectively bargain, the ability of workers to improve their wages and benefits through a union.

 I’m talking about their efforts in recent weeks to pass so-called “right to work” and “paycheck protection” bills, both of which are deceptively named. They’re aimed at crippling unions and the power they give to nurses, teachers and public employees to have a voice on the job, and to express their views through political action.

Corporations have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, yet workers who want to contribute their voices in politics through their unions would be unfairly restricted by the “paycheck deception” legislation. This skewers to the playing field to the rich and powerful, people like the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers.

 If we really want to help the middle class and low wage workers who trying to strengthen their families and communities, legislators will kill these bills and move on to make laws that actually do something to improve the lives of working people.

 

Rev. Dr. Martin Rafanan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to the Springfield News Leader

I had the chance to read Rev. Emily Bowen-Marler's Letter to the Editor appearing on February 14. It was a Valentine's Day wake up call.

As a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with statewide responsibility to minister to the needs of low wage workers, I could not agree more with Rev. Bowen-Marler's words opposing Right to Work legislation. What Springfield and the rest of our state needs are good jobs that pay a fair wage and some benefits.

Creating more poverty jobs where workers make a low wage and have no benefits or voice in the workplace is not the answer. Republican legislators who propose Right to Work and Paycheck Deception readily admit that this legislation lowers wages and puts more power in the hands of corporations and their CEOs. They continue to put their faith in a failed and debunked "trickle down" economic theory.

When workers don't get a fair wage, our communities end up being stripped of precious economic resources. We, as citizens, end up covering the billions of dollars of government assistance and community social services for these workers. These dollars subsidize multi-national corporations increasing their already obscene profits and decreasing the funds that we need for our schools, our infrastructure, and our community institutions.

We need to stop this transfer of wealth from our middle class to the 1%. We should not allow our community to bear the costs of rapacious people and the politicians they have paid to steal what belongs to our communities. As the prophet Amos said, "they trample on the heads of the poor as of the dust on the ground and deny justice to the oppressed."

For the good of our communities, let us stop Right to Work and other anti-worker legislation.

 

The Rev. Teresa Mithen Danieley, Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, St. Louis, Missouri

Right to Work is Wrong for Missourians

As a priest in the City of St. Louis, I encounter working people every day - in my congregation, in our weekly feeding program, and in the wider community - who are struggling to make ends meet. If the current effort to pass so-called “Right to Work” legislation in Missouri succeeds, it would make it even harder for working Missourians to make ends meet.

As a Christian, I believe that all people are created by God and all people are equally deserving of dignity and respect. I believe that all working people and families in Missouri ought to be able to make enough to support themselves.

“Right to Work” legislation would undermine the dignity of working people and would make it even harder for Missouri families to make ends meet. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Average Annual Pay for 2013, people in states with “Right to Work” laws earn 12.2% less than people in other states ($43,028 compared with $48,998, on average) and families in states with these laws make 11.8% less than families in other states ($49,220 vs. $55,788, on average).

If Missouri legislators really care about people and families in our state, they will refuse to concede to pressure from outside lobbyists. They will reject “Right to Work” legislation once and for all.

 

Rev. Kenneth Chumley, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield, Missouri

I see poor people nearly every day at my church. Increasingly, they seek our help meeting basic needs, such as food for themselves and their families. We give them sack lunches. We serve them at our food pantry, the Well of Life, and at the Council of Churches' Crosslines.

The number of needy people in Missouri is growing. Many of them used to be middle class people. Now, they are struggling to support themselves and their families on minimum wage jobs, if they can even find such jobs.

Life for these and many thousands of other Missourians would get much worse, if the euphemistically titled, Right to Work legislation made it through the General Assembly and went to the governor for his signature. The governor would veto the bill, only then to see his veto overturned by an assembly oblivious to the needs of Missouri's working poor; just yesterday Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder asked for a pay raise because he felt "impoverished" trying to live on his state salary, with benefits. Is Mr. Kinder equally concerned about the poor people of his state?

With the growing statewide controversy over what I and others regard as the sham Right to Work legislation in the General Assembly, I would like to write a column for the News-Leader, arguing against the passing of this cruel legislation. I believe this law would be ruinous to Missouri's working people. My opposition is based on my belief in the God of justice, who calls upon people who believe in him, including our elected representatives, to ensure that the poor are treated justly.

 

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