The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 16, 2014

Your View: Serious drawbacks

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

This law is quite simply more of the same: taking from the workers and ultimately benefiting the top earners and corporations, where the country’s wealth is now accumulated.

Right-to-work is supposed to promote job growth. Both Oklahoma and Kansas have instituted right-to-work, so we can measure the results. Oklahoma experienced only insignificant job growth in the many years following the beginning of the right-to-work.  During that same time it also experienced significantly greater unemployment. In Kansas, there was a tiny increase in job growth, but the job growth in Missouri at the same time was twice as big — and remember that Missouri does not have this destructive legislation.

There’s another factor at play here: Unions are good for a healthy economy. Through their training and apprenticeship programs, they provide a highly skilled work force, saving corporations money. In Joplin, the IBEW has a training facility for electricians. The Laborers Local 319 has classrooms in Joplin that provide training in programs such as lead and asbestos abatement, pipe laying with lasers, flagger and safety control, construction math, hazardous waste and other programs. The Carpenters Local 311 also provides classes. All of these workers contribute skills to the economy of our community and so are fundamental to its fabric.

Tell your friends and neighbors and especially your legislators what you think about this proposed right-to-work law.

Elliott Denniston

Webb City

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