AFL CIO urges Gov. Jay Nixon to show political courage and veto Senate Bill 29, the so-called ‘Paycheck Protection’ bill

Gov. Jay Nixon has made job creation a top priority, now to protect workers, citizens, seniors, veterans and AFL CIO hope he kills the bill it calls an assault on workers and worker rights.
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(PR NewsChannel) / May 15, 2013 / JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  
Gov. Jay Nixon gives the commencement address for the first class to graduate from Jefferson High School, near Festus. (Photo: Office of the Governor)

Gov. Jay Nixon gives the commencement address for the first class to graduate from Jefferson High School, near Festus. (Photo: Office of Gov. Jay Nixon)

Because of his track record of job creation and protection in Missouri, today the AFL CIO appealed to Gov. Jay Nixon to veto SB 29, the so-called ‘Paycheck Protection’ legislation because the union says the bill is nothing more than an effort to weaken workers’ rights and their ability to participate in the political process.

Backed by CEOs and large corporations and dubbed the ‘Paycheck Protection’ bill, the AFL CIO says the bill that passed the Missouri House yesterday with bipartisan opposition has a deliberately misleading name because it will do nothing to “protect” workers.

Though it falls short of making Missouri a right-to-work state, if signed by the governor it would force public employee unions to get annual approval from its members before deducting any fees that are used for political purposes. It would also require that same yearly approval before it could collect any union dues.

“Like all Missouri public workers who voluntarily join a union, I did so because I want a voice at work and in Jefferson City. I help families every day who are struggling in this economy – it is about time that politicians start creating jobs and quit trying to make it even more difficult to do our jobs,” said Natasha Pickens, state social services worker from St. Louis County.

The AFL CIO believes that this bill is nothing more than an attempt to keep unions out of the political process.

“This bill has nothing to do with helping working people,” said Mike Louis, Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer.  “Public workers in this state have faced an uphill fight for collective bargaining rights and are 50th in the nation in pay. It is shameful that instead of correcting real problems faced by the workers who care for our veterans, teach and protect children at risk from abuse and neglect, and serve so many other critical roles – politicians chose to again reward special interests at the expense of our everyday heroes.”

Workers have voiced their opposition to the legislation at demonstrations at the Capitol and at events all over the state. Voters have held rallies and knocked doors to talk with their neighbors, and sent thousands of emails, letters and phone calls to elected leaders.

Uncharacteristically, no workers were called to testify as the legislation was debated or considered in committees.

Autoworker Stan Stevenson from Wentzville has been knocking doors and worked on a phone bank.

“We vote for legislators and expect them to work for us, not CEOs who seem to care more about big bonuses and profits for their shareholders and special interest groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and Americans for Prosperity,” says Stevenson. “The legislature should focus on creating jobs in Missouri and boosting our economy. SB29 does the opposite – it is payback for the same corporations that have been shipping our jobs overseas and dodging their taxes.”

Gov. Jay Nixon has a track record of bringing together both Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation that benefits workers and jobs. But this legislation does neither, the AFL CIO says.

Now the union hopes Gov. Nixon steps in to protect workers’ rights.

If Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes the bill, lawmakers likely would not have the votes to override it.

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SOURCE:  The Prairie Group

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