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Season 3, Episode 90

Mississippi’s Right to Work policies suppress working family wages



Guest Name:

John Smith

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Central Mississippi Labor Council President John Smith joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed the challenges of organizing in the So-Called “Right to Work” state of Mississippi.

The only bright side to Mississippi’s anti-union policies is that those who are in the union truly want to be a union member and collectively advocate for the labor rights of their fellow union Brothers and Sisters, Smith said. There are few politicians who speak out in favor of organized labor because right wing politics is so entrenched in the state, he said.

That mindset extends to many workers, as they struggle to advocate for themselves due to their political leanings, Smith said. It is difficult to walk into a bar or a restaurant where Fox News is not being broadcast, he explained. He pointed out the politics of Mississippi has soured many people’s belief about unions, and as a result, led to low wages and a lack of benefits.

Smith noted that it is common for many of his members to travel north for work to earn better wages and benefits. An electrician who travels to Rockford, Ill., for example, can make twice the rate offered by contractors in Mississippi, for the same work. This demonstrates how Mississippi’s So-Called “Right to Work” policies have suppressed wages to the detriment of working families, he added.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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