Letter to the Editor

'Right to work' is bad news

Sunday, March 20, 2011

After the record flood of campaign contributions from CEOs during the last election, it's no surprise that the same politicians giving tax breaks to corporations are going after workers and their unions ("'Right to work' equals jobs," March 13).

After all, workers acting collectively through their unions are one of the only remaining checks on corporate power, and the last line of defense for our dwindling middle class. Exploitative CEOs would like to see a future without unions -- that's why so-called "right-to-work" legislation is designed to make it even harder for workers to join together for a secure agreement about their pay, benefits and working conditions.

Right-to-work is bad news for workers -- union and non-union alike -- and for our consumer-driven economy. In fact, according to the Economic Policy Institute, since Oklahoma passed "right-to-work" legislation in 2001, manufacturing employment has declined, and more businesses have relocated out of Oklahoma to other states.

So it's time for lawmakers to put politics aside and solve the real problems facing Missourians: creating good American jobs and rebuilding the middle class.

KIMBERLY FREEMAN BROWN, executive director, American Rights at Work, Washington, D.C.