Posts tagged "Labor"

Sign the petition to say NO to RTWFL in Missouri: 

h/t: Olivia Sandbothe at AFSCME

Far right anti-worker shill Eric Bolling DEFENDS China’s law labor laws. 

From the 04.15.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five:

Hopefully the Missouri House GOP doesn’t succeed in getting the 82+ votes needed to pass anti-worker HB1770 for it to get sent to the Senate. 
Call or email your Missouri State Representative now to tell them to vote NO on anti-worker RTWFL bill HB1770 to keep the Show Me State from being put on the Right To Work For Less list!!! 

h/t: Jo Mannies at STL Public Radio

Joan Banks wrote this excellent editorial about Missouri’s awful “right-to-work” for less bill in the Joplin Globe:

Right-to-work legislation is up in the air right now in the Missouri Legislature.  Last week, the bill failed to get enough votes to advance to the Senate, but supporters are working to get those votes and move it forward.

It sounds so good. Who doesn’t want the “right to work”? In fact, who doesn’t have the “right to work” now? What does the slogan mean?

“Right-to-work” is a deliberately misleading phrase intended to appeal to two basic American values: rights and work.

Here’s what it’s actually about: The law would make it optional for workers to pay dues to a union in a company in which the workers are protected by a union contract while allowing those who don’t belong to the union to reap the benefits of the contract.

A basic conservative value is that people shouldn’t get a free ride. But in a right-to-work environment, some workers, by not paying dues, would be getting benefits from union activities without paying their fair share. In other words, some workers would be getting a free ride to better working conditions and wages. So what would be the effect of making joining optional? Very simply, it would further erode and ultimately destroy unions.

Unions have given us some of the best working conditions in the world. Do you get paid vacation days, sick leave and holidays? Two breaks a day? Do you have a 40-hour work week? Are there workplace safety requirements? Wrongful termination protections? The list goes on. All of these important benefits were brought about by unions.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s op-ed column in the Globe (April 6) cited statistics supporting right-to-work. I don’t believe his staff did enough homework.

When researchers rigorously separated the impact on states with right-to-work laws from other variables like tax incentives, the general business climate in a state and other factors, the evidence shows that right-to-work was associated with a decrease in per-capita personal income and wages and had no effect on economic growth.

These were the findings reported in an Economic Policy Institute briefing paper. A search on the Web can uncover many such supporting studies.

Workers who think they can depend upon the goodwill of corporations for good working conditions and good wages are deluded. (There are some socially conscious corporations.) CEOs may talk about “being part of the team” with their rank-and-file employees, but first and foremost, their goal is about maximizing stock performance and profits. Their “team” is made up of them and their stockholders, not the declining middle class.

Unions, pushing for living wages and better conditions for workers, fostered the growth of the middle class. Looking at the history of union membership and the health of our economy suggests that the current decline in union membership correlates with our soaring income inequality.

Our economy has the highest corporate profit margins in history, the lowest wages as a percent of the economy and one of the highest unemployment rates. This has contributed to the huge gap between the wealthiest 1 percent and the very large group of low-income people.

The main backers of right-to-work policies are big business and Republican lawmakers, who get generous donations from corporations. They have joined together with a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has drafted “model” right-to-work legislation that Missouri’s proposed law mimics very closely.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also a supporter and has long lobbied for right-to-work and against the increase of the minimum wage and fair labor practices. These people do not have the backs of workers or the middle class. They are the one percent.

Stand up for the middle class. Urge your legislator to vote no on right-to-work.

Joan Banks lives in Joplin.

Great news for Missouri!!! It will NOT be a Right To Work For Less state!!! 

Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder (R)’s lying like usual:


Let’s hope the attempt to make the Show-Me State a Right To Work For Less state fails in the Missouri House today!

Missouri voters should reject RTWFL, if it comes to the ballot!! 

Will they or won’t they?

The question gripping the capital is if the House will take up Right to Work legislation, which would prohibit union membership from being required as a condition of employment.

The evidence suggests they will.

First, take part of this tweet from Grover Norquist this past week: “Missouri House will vote to put “Right to Work” on the August ballot next week.”

The tweet did not come from some random observer. This was tweeted by the Grover Norquist — the man who is famous nationally for his crusade against taxes and for smaller government.

Exactly how Norquist would know what the House is going to do this coming week remains a mystery. But the liberal advocacy group Progress Missouri said Norquist’s tweet points to national involvement in the Right to Work debate.

Second, on Thursday the American Conservative Union sent me an unsolicited email noting the group will be sending letters to lawmakers urging them to support Right to Work. The email, from Meghan Snyder, the organization’s communications director, said the House would vote Tuesday on the bill.

I emailed back to Snyder asking how the American Conservative Union knows when the vote will take place. She never replied back.

Third, statements from bill sponsor Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, suggest the House is nearing a debate.

“Now it’s kind of getting close to the time and it’s looking like it’s really going to happen, there’s a lot of eyes on it,” Burlison told me Friday.

The skeptic in me is still surprised a debate seems at hand. After all, this is an incredibly divisive issue. There’s no guarantee supporters will prevail on a vote.

The House barely passed so-called Paycheck Protection, which bans unions from collecting employee fees for political purposes without annual written permission from workers, on Thursday. The vote was 83-69, only one vote above the 82 needed to pass legislation.

In addition, in the past lawmakers have often been more talk than action on Right to Work. Last year’s Right to Work bill was never debated on the floor, much less voted on, despite House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, expressing support for the idea early in session.

Anything can still happen. But everything I’ve read or heard suggests lawmakers are as close to a debate as they’ve ever been.

So hold on to your seats. I think things are about to get interesting.

Could Missouri be the next state to join the “Right To Work” For Less club? 
There will possibly be a House vote this week on this issue, and I hope to see the vote to make the Show-Me State an RTWFL state a major failure. 
If this gets on the August ballot, please vote NO to making Missouri RTWFL! 

h/t: Jonathan Shorman at Springfield News-Leader

Hopefully this bill gets killed in the Missouri Senate and/or by the veto pen of Gov. Jay Nixon’s (subject to possible override). 

Hopefully Missourians reject the anti-worker scam known as “right to work for less” (RTWFL) when it likely gets put on the ballot in August. 
ANY Missouri politician who votes for RTWFL should be denied communion. 

h/t: Marie French at

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez issues ‘declaration of war’ on unions (via Raw Story )

On Monday, New Mexico’s Republican governor issued what union leaders are calling a “declaration of war” against unionized state employees. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Gov. Susana Martinez told a group of commercial real estate developers…

h/t: Joan Walsh at AlterNet, via Salon

Using his executive authority, President Obama will update labor regulations that dictate which workers are exempt from the requirement that their employers pay time and a half for working more than 40 hours a week, the New York Times reports.

Under current rules, workers can be classified as executive, administrative, or professional and denied overtime pay under what is known as the white-collar exemption. That means someone who oversees a clean up crew can be classified as executive and not be paid time and a half for extra work. Obama’s change would readjust the rules for which salaried employees can be blocked in this way.

It would also significantly raise the salary threshold that currently stands at $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, meaning anyone who makes more than that is exempt from overtime. That threshold hasn’t been significantly updated since 1975, allowing it to erode as inflation rose. In a paper released earlier this year, the Economic Policy Institute estimated that if that threshold were raised to $970 a week, covering those who make $50,440 or less a year,about 10 million salaried workers would get overtime pay for going over 40 weekly hours. “These workers include insurance clerks, secretaries, low-level managers, social workers, bookkeepers, dispatchers, sales and marketing assistants, and employees in scores of other occupations,” the report notes. That threshold is also where it would be if it had been adjusted for inflation since the last significant increase.

Obama’s proposed changes will be subject to public comment before getting a final sign off from the Department of Labor, so they could be scaled back in the face of strong opposition.

The change would bring a welcome boost in income for workers, who have suffered a decade of stagnant or falling wages despite rising productivity. Their wages are currently growing at the slowest rate since 1965 and they have declined 7 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, corporate profits have been robust, rising 20 percent between 2008 and 2013 and hitting an all-time high in 2012.

It could also have an impact on the standard workweek. Americans work long hours,standing at number 11 in how many hours clocked each year out of 33 developed countries, ahead of Japan, Germany, and other competitive peers. Ninety-four percent of today’s professionals put in 50 or more hours a week, and nearly half are working 65 plus. If employers want to avoid paying workers who are newly covered by overtime regulations the time and a half pay, they could cap hours at 40 a week and instead hire more people to do the extra work.

Obama’s authority to update the rules comes from a president’s ability to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs such labor regulations as overtime. President George W. Bush and other presidents have used similar strategies in the past. And despite some saying that using this authority is an abuse of power, Obama is actually far below the average when it comes to the use of executive orders and is issuing them at the slowest rate since President Grover Cleveland.

h/t: Bryce Covert at Think Progress Economy

Missouri becoming an RTWFL state is bad!!
(Image via Protect MO Families’ Facebook Page.)

Missouri becoming an RTWFL state is bad!!

(Image via Protect MO Families’ Facebook Page.)