Friday, January 20, 2017
Rolla Republican: Right to work is the will of the people; you voted for us
In a historic vote today, Thursday January 19, 2017, the Missouri House passed Right to Work with 100 Aye and 59 No votes. I spoke in support of the bill today when it came to the floor to be third read. I stated that I was proud to be able to vote to free our hardworking citizens from the mandate to join a union in our state as a condition of employment. I also expressed my gratitude to the voters of Missouri who went to the polls and actually made this vote possible.
I know that there are many (certainly not a majority) of people in the state who will be disappointed about this new direction for our state. To those individuals I said that I hoped that union members would take some comfort in knowing that the unions will now have to work harder to provide improved services and benefits to the membership since union members will no longer be a captive audience.
In voting for Right to Work, I do not believe that I was expressing any disapproval of the function of unions, but rather just protecting our citizens from being forced to join an organization as a condition of employment. If a union is serving a good purpose, and the members are happy with it, they will continue to support the union and pay their dues, but if a worker does not see the value in membership, he or she will now be free to use the money that previously had to go to the union for some other purpose.
The opposition today during debate referred to those who choose not to join a union as "free riders", while the bill sponsor referred to those same individuals are "captive riders". If a union chooses only to represent union members, they are certainly free to do so, though they seldom choose that option.
I also stated in my brief remarks (brevity and succinctness can be powerful in their own right); I stated that I perceived an upbeat and optimistic mood in our state and our country, as opposed to the general mood over the last several years.
In my opinion that is due in a large measure to the fact that citizens see that the will of the people is being recognized and enacted and new provisions such as Right to Work are becoming reality.
You, the people of the state of Missouri did this at the ballot box, and those you elected, like me, are doing what you sent us here to do.
I also noted that the galleries and hallways were not congested with opponents of Right to Work this year, since those groups realize that the people have spoken and this bill is destined to become the law in Missouri. A historic landmark, and now on to the Senate and then the Governor's desk.