Since the beginning of this year’s legislative session in January, the relentless attack on Missouri workers continues. Several issues are at hand once again. I know it may seem like the same old song and dance, and it is. The issues of Paycheck Deception, Prevailing Wage and Right-To Work are at the forefront again. It has always amazed me that the so-called people that are elected to represent us at the State Capitol are the very ones trying to destroy middle class America, and everything that unions stand for. Of course, they love to spin it and say they are doing it for us! They say Unions were the cause of the bad economy, in their opinion it’s the teachers, firefighters, truck drivers, factory workers, janitors, warehouse workers and public sector employees that make too much money. Of course, they never say that the typical CEO makes an average of over 343% of the average worker.
What they forget is all those so called “Union Thugs” (the name they love to call us nowadays) that put out the fires, that deliver all your goods every day, that take care of your parents in the nursing home, that build the vehicle you drive, that clear our streets in the snow, that take our children to school every day. Yes, those are the thugs they refer too. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of it. It’s time we fight back! Every member of this Joint Council has to stand up for its local union and take ownership. Tell everyone you talk to that you’re proud to be a union member, tell the public, your family members, and anyone that will listen that it’s with a collective bargaining agreement that you enjoy all the wages and benefits you have. Believe me when I tell you this, your employer doesn’t give you those benefits, wages, and working conditions because they like you. No, it’s because of a signed agreement that you have as a union member with your employer.
Not in all my years as an officer of this great union, has a member come to me and said, I make too much money, and enjoy too many benefits in our collective bargaining agreement, and I would like to take a cut in pay or give up some benefits. I was there in 1978 when Right-To Work was wrong for Missouri workers and it’s wrong now. It lets the freeloaders share in all you fight for as a union member. Right-To-Work is a very deceptive term. It encourages freeloading in a union shop, nothing more. These freeloaders receive everything in a labor agreement that the union has bargained for and not pay dues. Right-To-Work should really be called the race to the bottom. Here’s why, the so called RTW states have lower wages, they undermine workplace democracy, they promote freeloading, have more poverty in RTW states, less opportunity to health care and also lower performing schools.
In closing I would like to say get involved, go to the State Capitol, call your State Senator, call your State Representative. Tell them of your displeasure of their actions concerning the attacks on working families. If you do not know who they are, go to the Joint Council 13 website at www.teamstersjc13.org to find your representatives. It’s a great tool to find all of your local and state wide representatives. Just enter your zip code and you will have everything at your convenience. The Joint Council has ordered over 15,000 Right-To-Work RipOff bumper stickers. Call your local to get one. Put it on your vehicle and display it proudly. As I said earlier, it was wrong in 1978 and it’s wrong now!