Labor unions push back against Right to Work efforts in Missouri, Pennsylvania

Called ‘Paycheck Protection,’ rhetoric is running high as the controversial legislation gets pushed by anti-union lawmakers
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(PR NewsChannel) / February 19, 2014 / HARRISBURG, Penn. and JEFFERSON CITY, Mo 
Credit: Politico

Credit: Politico

With Right to Work fights waging on across the nation, two prominent battlegrounds, Pennsylvania and Missouri, are in the throes of battle and both are trying to make Right to Work law with legislation.

The efforts are from Republicans and, as they have in the past, they are ramping up the rhetoric while promoting new rounds of Right to Work bills, commonly referred to as “Paycheck Protection” legislation in those respective states.

“It’s Right to Work, but these anti-union lawmakers try to use different names to confuse people,” says Pat Sink, Ohio’s IUOE Local 18 business manager. “They call it something very attractive and misleading. But these bills are backed by Republicans and financed by big business, which means it’s not good for hard working union folks in any state.”

Sink says he’s watching what’s happening across the country and not just in Ohio. He says the playbooks are similar and there are lessons to be learned from each battle. In the end, he says these measures need to fail for workers to win.

Claiming that the bills would protect the interests of ordinary workers, the politicians have drawn the ire of labor supporters who have fought against Right to Work from the beginning.

“So –called ‘Paycheck Protection’ bills are nothing more than another avenue to silence the political voice of hard-working Americans,” said Sink. “We have to stay vigilant in letting the public know that this type of legislation doesn’t have their best interest at heart.”

Although the legislation is having resurgence, “Paycheck Protection,” has been a mainstay in the GOP’s war on unions.

In Missouri last year, Senate Bill 29, otherwise known as “Paycheck Protection,” would have required public employees to give annual written consent before union dues could be deducted from their paychecks.

Gov. Jay Nixon struck down the bill in a last minute veto.

“Singling out union dues for these extra processes serves no beneficial purpose,” said Nixon in a statement accompanying the veto. “Rather, the bill places unnecessary burdens on public employees for the purpose of weakening labor organizations.”

Michigan enacted “Paycheck Protection” and Right to Work initiatives in 2012. Once a bastion of pro-labor forces and union dominance, the state has been torn apart as labor leaders continue to push against the expansion of the controversial legislation.

“Supporters of ‘Right to Work,’ ‘Paycheck Protection’ and ‘Workplace Freedom’ thrive on an uneducated public,” said Sink. “The most important thing we can do is continue to educate the public about the true dangers behind this movement.”

Opponents of the recent Ohio “Workplace Freedom” bills contend that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.

By stripping workers of their rights and freedoms, business owners would be free to lower worker pay, reduce worker benefits and ignore worker rights.

Whether Republicans utilize “Paycheck Protection,” “Workplace Freedom,” or other Right to Work tactics, opponents remain dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the underlying nature behind the GOP’s divisive agenda.

For more information about Right to Work in Ohio, please visit 

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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