Letter to the Editor

End 'right to work' laws

Let's be clear: right to work is wrong. The PRO Act will wipe it off the map.

Nearly 60 million people say they would join a union today if they could. The problem? Union-busters, Big Business and woefully outdated laws continue undermining the right to collectively bargain.

Just take "right to work" laws, for example. Across the country, anti-worker legislators are fighting to pass right to work, which has a 70-plus year track record of lowering wages, reducing benefits and making workplaces more dangerous. Right here in Missouri, certain legislators in Jefferson City are trying to revive a "right to work" effort that was rejected by over 67% of voters in 2018.

Here are the broader results: On average, workers in states with right to work laws make nearly $9,000 less per year than workers in states without these laws ($50,174 compared with $59,163).

In 2019, 24% of jobs in right to work states were in low-wage occupations, compared to just 14.5% of jobs in other states.

Workplace deaths rates are 37% higher in states with right to work laws.

We now have a chance to put right to work where it belongs -- in the trash bin of history.

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would override this law and restore the chance at the American dream for workers.

It was passed by the House last year but blocked in the Senate. It's time to pass the PRO Act and end right to work for good.

MARK BAKER, president, Southeast Missouri Central Labor Council, Jackson