Unpopularity of ‘right-to-work’ is evident

Unpopularity of ‘right-to-work’ is evident

Featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The letter “Voters elected Legislature, governor who favor right-to-work” (Aug. 10) from state Rep. John Wiemann contains so many inaccuracies it is difficult to know where to begin.

First, Rep. Wiemann’s claim that “right-to-work” is needed to prevent workers from being compelled to join unions is simply not true. The fact is that no one can be forced to become a union member. Moreover, because a union is required by law to represent all employees in a workplace, those who choose not to become members can only be required to pay union fees related to the costs of representation.

Second, the assertion that “right-to-work” will increase wages and job opportunities has been disproven by economic studies comparing states with such laws and states without them.

Rep. Wiemann states that, “right-to-work is about Missouri workers.” If that were true, then the workers themselves would be campaigning to support “right-to-work.” That is plainly not happening. Instead, support is coming from anti-union business interests and dark money slush funds.

Indeed, the unpopularity of “right-to-work’ is cogently demonstrated by the unprecedented success of those petitioning to halt the implementation of the bill signed by Gov. Eric Greitens and place it on the November 2018 ballot. By law, the petitioners needed approximately 100,000 signatures from six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. Instead, nearly 300,000 signatures were collected, with enough signatures in all eight districts.

This success was not the result of the union bosses whom Rep. Wiemann attacks, but rather the actions of rank-and-file workers who know that “right-to-work” will result in a race to the bottom in regard to wages, benefits and workplace protections.

Finally, if, as Rep. Wiemann claims, “right-to-work” reflects the will of the people, why are its supporters trying so hard to keep it off the ballot?

Greg Campbell  •  Creve Coeur

Greg Campbell is a principal with the firm of Hammond and Shinners, P.C. He specializes in the representation of labor unions and employees benefit funds. He has spoken on labor and employment issues at a variety of conferences. His significant cases include obtaining $4.2 million in backpay for probation and parole employees in Service Employees International Union Local 2006 v. State of Missouri, 214 S.W. 3d 368 (Mo. App. W.D. 2007). Mr. Campbell has been chosen for the 2017 Lawyer of the Year for Labor Law – Union in St. Louis.

 

Featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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