Your Opinion: Labor unions protect rights of workers

Dear Editor:

Right to work — freedom to work — right to work for less — workers’ rights — fancy names that do not really reflect what they mean but sound good to the press and on the ballot.

Unions were born out the disregard for workers’ rights. Unions corrected the wrongs of a greedy industrialized society. Not every business needs a union but unions provide a great check and balance in our capitalist economic system.

It has been said that states that have passed right to work laws have seen an increase in businesses moving to their states. We all know that big businesses such as Toyota and Boeing have moved to the states that have offered the best tax deals and incentives not because of any legislation such as right to work.

Right to work is not about protecting workers’ rights; it is about destroying the middle class which provides our state with a skilled workforce that is unparalleled in the world.

Think about the economic impact if wages decline because of this legislation. Some CEOs may make more money but the income of the worker will drop, and so will our tax revenues. Take a look at the economy of the states around us that have passed similar legislation—their standard of living is lower, their education rating is lower, their wage scale is lower and their workplace injury rate is higher — it is called skilled labor for a reason.

Do we want to take a step backwards? Do we really want workers’ rights or do we want to take them away? This battle is not just about a living wage but about protecting workers, the minimum wage, taking care of others. Is right to work about taking care of others here in Missouri or about taking care of multinational corporations?

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com