On April 26 the Missouri House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety will hear SB202, a “Paycheck Deception” bill sponsored by Senator Jason Crowell. Crowell is the sponsor of many anti-worker bills this session, including an attempt to gut Missouri’s minimum wage law; to raise taxes on renters; and right to work for less, which seeks to eliminate union rights.
SB202 is called “Paycheck Deception” because the motivation behind the bill isn’t clear at first glance. It means to silence the voices of public workers like nurses, teachers and first responders, including so many that have been working around the clock over the Easter holiday weekend to repair and rebuild after the devastating tornadoes, storms and flooding.
It is wrong to launch attacks on the public workers who serve our communities after tornadoes and other natural disasters hit, and the thousands of other public employees that protect and serve our families and community.
The tornadoes and severe storms over the weekend caused such damage to communities across the state including Lambert Airport in St. Louis. Due to warning systems in place, there were thankfully no fatalities and few serious injuries, although there are so many now in need that have lost homes and suffered other damage.
Missouri union members have been working around the clock to rebuild after the storm, to re-open the airport and to help those injured or in need. That Lambert Airport has already been able get back to work is remarkable and is thanks to the cooperation of local elected officials and the governor, and the dedication of so many public workers that spent a holiday weekend away from their families to protect and serve our families and clean up after such devastation. During and after the storms, public workers risked their own safety to protect our community.
How ironic it is then that tomorrow the Missouri House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety is hearing SB202. This politically motivated attack seeks to silence the voices of first responders, nurses, teachers and other public workers. It doesn’t create any jobs or help to rebuild after the tornado but instead means to punish the very workers that serve our communities when the need is greatest. Attacks like SB202 and other legislation meant to take away workers’ rights and ability to collectively bargain are wrong for Missouri. After the events of the weekend, the Missouri House needs to take another look at what’s really important to our community and work with dedicated public workers instead of attacking those working for us.
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