Speaker Jones defends 'right to work' legislation

Jan 15, 2014

This week's Intersection featured a panel of state lawmakers, including Speaker Tim Jones.

In his opening address at the start of the legislative session last week, House Speaker Tim Jones highlighted “right to work” legislation as one of his priorities this year.  

Appearing on KBIA’s Intersection earlier this week, Jones said “right to work” would help Missouri stay economically competitive in the region.

"In my home district, I have a 300 acre parking lot, and the unions did not save Chrysler from maintaining its presence in our state, so by being a union shop state we've lost jobs," he said. "I think it’s time to try something new."

Democratic state Rep. Chris Kelly, who also appeared on the show, disagreed, saying the legislation would take a disproportionate toll on working Missourians.

"I think this is a direct assault on people who work for a living outside and on a backhoe, versus the guys who sit in Dallas and run construction companies in Missouri," he said. "It's a transfer of money from working people to big corporations out of state.

Kelly said Senate opposition to the proposal would likely prevent it from passing. On Monday, the House Committee on Workplace Development and Workplace Safety held a hearing on a right to work bill sponsored by Republican House member Eric Burlison.