Bill Advanced in Mo.
April 30, 2014
|Paycheck deception is the latest piece of anti-worker legislation to be endorsed by the Missouri House
Just weeks after failing to garner enough support to put right-to-work-for-less on the Missouri ballot, anti-worker state legislators are resurrecting another bill aimed at weakening workers’ rights.
Paycheck deception restricts the ability of public-sector unions to use dues money for political purposes. The voices of nurses, maintenance workers and teachers would be muted in Jefferson City, while leaving corporations and lobbyists free to spend money to elect and influence legislators without restrictions.
“Paycheck deception is just as wrong as ‘right to work,’” said Beth Pitney, eligibility specialist with the State of Missouri in Randolph County. “I joined a union because I want a voice at work – and in Jefferson City.”
Similar legislation has been promoted all over the United States by anti-worker groups like American Legislative Exchange Council and ultra-wealthy donors like the Koch brothers, looking to roll back the rights of working families.
“There are all of these out-of-state groups flooding the state house with dozens of bills that target workers,” said Jefferson City Local 257 Business Manager Donald Bruemmer. “They hope one of them will stick.”
A similar bill was vetoed last summer by Gov. Jay Nixon.
"Singling out union dues for these extra processes serves no beneficial purpose," Nixon wrote in his veto message. "Rather, the bill places unnecessary burdens on public employees for the purpose of weakening labor organizations.”
The latest effort to revive paycheck deception legislation was passed by the Missouri House in March. The Senate will begin hearings on it this week.
"These 'paycheck protection' proposals reflect corporate lobbies’ unabashed attempts to enact a broad corporate economic agenda by crippling the ability of workers to participate in the political process," said Gordon Lafer of the Economic Policy Institute in a report released last year.
"Because the labor movement is the only vehicle through which millions of working Americans collectively pool sufficient resources—in the form of both financial contributions and organized volunteer efforts—to serve as an effective political counterweight to this agenda, eliminating union political activity promises to leave the corporate lobbies with an increasingly free hand to shape economic policy at the expense of workers."
Photo used under a Creative Commons License from Flickr user cswroe.