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Missouri ALEC Co-Chair on Wages in RTW States: “Sure They Go Down” (VIDEO)

Ed "It's Only Money, Right?" Emery

Ed “What’s Your Worth?” Emery

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In a video unveiled by Progress Missouri, State Senator/ALEC Co-chair Ed Emery admits that “Right-to-Work” laws would mean lower wages for Missourians. But don’t get your hopes up: this is a gotcha moment, not a rejection of anti-worker policy.

For Emery, “Right-to-Work” is all about bringing more jobs to Missouri. This position, of course, ignores history which has disproven the relationship between this type of law and improved employment figures.

From the video:

“One of the things that will be advocated by the unions is look at all these right to work states, average wages all go down. Sure they go down, you have a whole lot more people working in those states and they aren’t necessarily working for $25 an hour. They couldn’t get a job for $25 an hour but they can at $20 because they’re worth $20, or they’re worth $17, or they’re worth $12. So, all of the sudden you have a whole lot more people working. But you won’t find in any of those states that those workers who were employed, unionized, that their wages have gone down. You’ll find that there’s more people working because there’s more freedom. The employer has more freedom, and the worker has more freedom. As we go forward in Missouri with promoting freedom to work, we need to be sure that people understand the difference between liberty and oppression.”

Progress Missouri highlights existing social science and economic studies which discredit Emery’s claims that jobs would be created by “Right-to-Work”:

The Economic Policy Institute found in a 2011 study that the “evidence is overwhelming” that “right-to-work laws have not succeeding boosting employment growth in the states that have adopted them.”
• Hofstra University professor Lonnie Stevans found in a 2007 study that employment was actually lower in states with right-to-work laws when controlling for other factors.
• And in 2011, Ozkan Eren with the University of Nevada and Serkan Obzeklik with Claremont McKenna found in a study that there was no evidence to support right-to-work laws increased employment in manufacturing in Idaho and Oklahoma.

In addition, “Right-to-Work” states rank among the very worst in food security, economic mobility, and health insurance rates.


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