On Tuesday, March 12, about 100 SEIU Healthcare Missouri members traveled to Jefferson City for our annual Lobby Day. Members met with lawmakers across both sides of the aisle, talking about the need for Medicaid expansion, and stopping ‘Right-to-Work for Less’ and ‘Paycheck Deception’ bills that threaten working families across the state.
‘Paycheck Deception’ is an attempt to further skew the political balance of power towards corporations by enacting tight controls and burdensome regulations that only apply to unions. Corporations already outspend unions more than 19-to-1 in the political process, but that’s not slowing down anti-worker politicians who are pushing the measure right now.
So called ‘Right-to-Work’ laws are another attempt by greedy CEOs and right-wing politicians to silence working families. ‘RTW’ lowers wages for all workers, endangers worksite safety and health standards, and is unfair to union members who play by the rules. Like ‘Paycheck Deception,’ this bill is backed by big business interests who support initiatives aimed at undermining our ability to negotiate for fair wages and benefits. Instead of looking out for working families, proponents are trying to weaken or eliminate our voices at work and in politics.
“This was my first time ever at the Capitol, let alone a Lobby Day for our union,” said Drew McClure, an Anesthesia Technician at St. Louis University Hospital. “I met with six different lawmakers and talked to them about the need to expand Medicaid so more Missourians have access to the care they need. I personally have many family members who would benefit from the expansion and sharing my personal story really illustrated why this is important.”
Another first time Lobby Day participant was Corita Brown, a Cook 1 at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. “This was a great experience for me and I was able to go back to work and share it with my co-workers. We all should know who our lawmakers are and they should know who we are too. We put them in office and it’s our job to hold them accountable after that,” said Brown.
“I make sure I never miss Lobby Day because I know I’m not just going for myself, I show up to advocate for the seniors I care for who can’t make it all the way to Jefferson City,” said home care provider Val Gordon from St. Louis. “There are so many issues that are critical to workers like me and seniors across our state. On Tuesday, I spoke with a republican lawmaker about the importance of Medicaid expansion, sharing personal stories from my clients about the difference it would make. I also pressed her about the negative impact ‘Right-to-Work for Less’ and ‘Paycheck Deception’ would have on working families in Missouri. We have a lot more work to do but getting on the bus and making sure our voices, and the voices of our clients are heard all the way in Jefferson City is one way we can fight back.”
Anti-worker attacks in Missouri continue, as the state lawmakers move forward with ‘Paycheck Deception’ today. It’s not too late to call your representative and urge them to oppose attacks on working people. Call 888-907-9711 right now to reach your state lawmakers.
Check out all the photos from Lobby Day below: