I shared these words in our local newspaper a while back, but this issue has resurfaced in the wake of Governor Nixon’s veto of “Right-to-Work” legislation (HB116/SB569). In light of that, I feel it necessary to lift up why I, as a person of faith, oppose such legislation and support the Governor’s veto of it. In order to stand with middle class and working families and to express our commitment to our calling as people of God, I encourage people of faith and especially the legislators of Missouri to sustain the governor’s veto.
As a person of faith, I am concerned that once again a deceptively-titled piece of legislation is passed that does the opposite of what the average person might believe it does. This legislation does nothing to ease the ability of Missouri citizens to work and in fact, undermines wages and the ability for workers to stand up for themselves and have a voice in the workplace. What “Right-to-Work” does is give CEOs, special interests, and corporations the right to pay low wages. That isn’t fighting for Missouri families. That does not honor the dignity of our workers.
Throughout scripture, the prophets cry out for economic justice. In the Gospels, Jesus reaches out to the oppressed and the marginalized. In our time, the oppressed are those who cannot support their families because of low wages. The middle class is shrinking and wages have remained stagnant for far too long, even as corporations and CEOs are taking in more and more money all the time. It is my fervent prayer that we work together to strengthen Missouri families, that we value the dignity of every worker in our state, and that we recognize the ways in which Right-to-Work will undermine all of that.