The Springfield News-Leader editorial regarding Right-to-Work is summed up with their headline, Right-to-Work bad for state.
While the state is finally coming out of the last recession, middle-class and working-class Missourians are looking to the legislature to take steps to help their bottom lines — not the bottom lines of any political parties or donors.
Right to Work is not the way to get that done.
Unions are not holding this state, its businesses or its employees hostage. With only about 9 percent of Missouri employees affiliated with a union, and with laws that already side with businesses in union contracts, unions are not responsible for impeding the state’s economic growth.
But unions can provide a positive impact on the quality of work done in our state and the wages paid to those who provide that labor.
One area where this is easily seen is the building trades. In fact, the Builders’ Association, which represents more than 900 commercial building companies in Missouri, both union and non-union, testified before the House Workforce Development & Workplace Safety Committee in opposition to Right-to-Work efforts.
One of the association’s arguments — echoed by local union and contracting representatives — is about training programs offered to workers through labor unions. Trained and safety-certified workers make sure that the construction done in Missouri is high quality.
Randy Ganz, president of DeWitt & Associates in Springfield, said it has been a challenge to find qualified workers since the recession. “If we don’t pay a good, solid wage … how are we going to keep a good workforce base in Missouri?”