'Right to work' debate heats up in House Committee
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'Right to work' debate heats up in House Committee

Date: February 2, 2015
By: Jill Ornitz
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: 
A bill that would allow workers to opt out of joining a union has indicated a divide in the Missouri House about whether unions eliminate workers choices or protect those rights.
RunTime:  0:39
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The sponsor of this bill said since the bill lets workers opt of out of joining a union, it's more in tune with the American ideal of choice. Bob Burns, a Democrat from St. Louis County, said that view was backwards.

Actuality:  BURNS2.WAV
Run Time:  00:17
Description: "You mentioned about the forefathers and the freedoms of this country, those were the same people that were white slave owners that didn't give women the right to vote. And they had the rule of thumb which means you could beat your wife with anything smaller than a rule that was smaller than your thumb. Is that what you want to go back to? I'm not going to respond to that."

Lieutentant Governor Peter Kinder testified that Missouri was losing its workers to states with better job opportunities.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Jill Ornitz.

Intro: 
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder made a rare appearance in a House committee hearing to testify for a bill that would allow workers to opt out of joining a union.
RunTime:  0:34
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Lietenant Governor Peter Kinder testified in favor of the right to work legislation and said there's an exodus of workers from Missouri to states that have enacted these laws and now provide better job opportunities.

Actuality:  KINDER1.WAV
Run Time:  00:03
Description: "Those opportunities are gone and they're not coming back."

Kinder talked about St. Louis's history as a major automotive hub until two Chrystler plants closed in the area in 2008 and 2009. Other representatives discussed the importance of labor unions in protecting workers and eliminating child labor in the United States.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Jill Ornitz. 

Intro: 
Workers may be able to opt out of joining a union if a right to work bill debated in a House Committee is passed by the entire legislature.
RunTime:  0:38
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill's sponsor said the purpose of the legislation is to make joining a union a worker's independent decision instead of a coercive act. But his understanding of union dynamics was called into question by Clem Smith, a Democrat from St. Louis County.

Actuality:  SMITHA.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "Have you ever been a member of a labor union? No. What about like a member of ALEC? I have been to ALEC meetings, yeah."

Other representatives discussed the importance of labor unions to American history, including their emphasis on education and ability to organize to stop child labor in this country.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Jill Ornitz.


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