Slogans such as “Right to Work helps when ‘no, thank you’ won’t,” are just the start of the disinformation campaign critics of Right to Work face every day in Missouri. When public approval starts to dip, union and labor representatives have found that Right to Work supporters begin making baseless claims to support their effort and mislead voters.
After launching a referendum petition campaign in June, critics find themselves competing against a Right to Work support campaign which they say isn’t accurate. Proponents make claims of sweeping reform to union organization and trade jurisdiction while downplaying existing rules.
Prior to the passage of 2016’s Right to Work bill, unions were already legally required to represent all workers regardless of membership status. If a non-member needed assistance they would only pay fees for that service. Union membership was entirely optional.
Critics are now calling out supporters for their message that optional union membership is a new policy only achievable under Right to Work. Supporters also fail to discuss the number of activities unions perform on behalf of all workers, regardless of membership, through collective bargaining contracts. Other claims of union organization and trade jurisdiction reform are simply unfounded, with no support from the bill itself.
“Right to Work proponents are playing dirty to get what they want,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in nearby Ohio. “No legislation that’s good for voters should rely on deceit to survive. Critics need to battle the disinformation so voters can shut the bill down.”
Right to Work has been the subject of controversy as it aims to free workers from union membership requirements, making employee participation and dues payment optional. Workers are then able to benefit from unions without being a member or providing financial support in return.
Proponents believe this freedom provides money for management to expand and pay workers higher wages. However, studies show unions collapse, wages stagger and job growth crawls.
This isn’t the first time Missouri has been at war over this legislation. Back and forth struggles have carried on for years until Republicans swept the state government in 2016. The Right to Work bill was passed shortly after.
Current efforts by the opposition involve a rarely used tactic: the referendum petition. Set into motion in June, the petition requires unions, workers and critics to collect roughly 90,000 signatures demonstrating disapproval for the bill by August 28th. If the petition meets its goal the bill is put back onto the 2018 ballot for voters to have another say.
“Workers cannot let Missouri become another example of Right to Work failing,” said Dalton. “I urge each resident to dig for the truth and sign the petition. There’s still a fighting chance.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org.
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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