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2020 to bring much-deserved raise to Missouri’s minimum-wage workers

Missouri Voters Overwhelmingly Approved 2018’s Proposition B to increase Missouri’s Minimum Wage — Missouri workers will see minimum wage increase 85¢ to $9.45 beginning January 1, 2020

Hard-working Missourians will see another wage increase to ring in the new year. In 2018, voters from every corner of our state resoundingly voted Yes on Proposition B to gradually increase Missouri’s minimum wage from $7.85 an hour to $12 an hour by 2023. With 62.34% of the vote and carrying 82 of Missouri’s 114 counties, 31 of 34 State Senate districts, and 145 of 163 State House districts, Proposition B and raising Missouri’s minimum wage was a clear signal and mandate from voters across our state. This 85 cents an hour raise has already resulted in an additional $1,000 a year for Missouri’s full-time, minimum wage workers’ pockets and into their local economies.

“Missouri voters get it,” said Richard von Glahn, Missouri Jobs with Justice Policy Director, “Businesses cannot thrive when their workers —  or customers — are living in poverty.”

Proposition B was endorsed by a diverse and bipartisan coalition of workers, faith leaders, elected officials, and business owners, who continue to defend this voter-passed mandate.

“The minimum wage going up to $9.45 an hour is a big deal for me, my family, and my co-workers. I work hard to take care of my family — 16-hour shifts so I can pay for daycare for my two-year-old daughter, Londyn, along with rent, electric, gas, groceries, and everything else life throws at you. This raise is a step in the right direction to give us some breathing room.” 

Mysean Coleman, a Hall Monitor at Heritage Care Center in St. Louis, who will receive a raise on January 1, 2020

“The reality is, the more money people have, the more money they spend,” said Mary Faucett, owner of Springfield-based Bambino’s restaurant. “More people spending money on life’s necessities like food, diapers, and repairs, this helps businesses across the board. We are already seeing that when wages are raised at the bottom, money goes right back into businesses like ours and our larger community.”

Increasing Missouri’s minimum wage was estimated to impact  677,000 Missourians — or 1 in 4 workers — and may are looking forward to the increase, including Mysean Coleman who works as a Hall Monitor at Heritage Care Center in St. Louis.

Missouri minimum wage workers lobbying in Jefferson City to save their democratically won raise
Missouri Minimum Wage Workers lobbying in Jefferson City to defend their democratically earned raises

“The minimum wage going up to $9.45 an hour is a big deal for me, my family, and my co-workers. I work hard to take care of my family — 16-hour shifts so I can pay for daycare for my two-year-old daughter, Londyn, along with rent, electric, gas, groceries, and everything else life throws at you. This raise is a step in the right direction to give us some breathing room.” 

Multiple deceptive bills were introduced in Missouri’s 2019 Legislative Session to undercut the will of the voters and Missouri workers and at least one of those bills has been re-introduced for the 2020 legislative session.

“We fought hard for this raise and we are not going to let some out-of-touch politicians overturn the will of Missouri voters,” said Khaymen Hoelscher of Columbia, one of the many workers who lobbied to preserve the increase over the past year.  “It’s not just the disrespect to voters like me,” said Cheyenne Mauzy of Springfield, “ it is also that there are politicians who want to make sure some of us workers are forced to only scrape by and never get ahead.”


Save the Date to Celebrate – End of Year Events!

The weather outside is frightful…
But in about a month it’ll be so delightful…
To join all your friends in solidarity…
And let our power show, let it show, let it show…

At our end of year CELEBRATIONS!

We’ve got great events coming up next month including our TENTH annual Scrooge of the Year event in KC, end of year celebration in St. Louis, end of year celebration in Springfield, and our first Columbia celebration!

Check our events for more info or reach out to info@mojwj.org


Tell your Senators – Lower Drug Prices NOW

No matter where you live, what you look like, or what’s in your wallet, at some point you or a loved one will get sick and need prescription medicine. Too many families today can’t afford their prescriptions and are forced to choose between filling prescriptions or paying rent because Big Pharma has rigged the system to maximize their profits at the expense of patients’ health.

Drug companies continue to put their outrageous profits over people’s lives. Big Pharma is lining the pockets of some politicians to protect their profits and avoid responsibility.

It’s up to people like us to fight back. We’re calling on Senators Hawley & Blunt to do their part to lower prescription drug prices now!

Here’s how you can fight back.

Tweet your elected officials!

Now is the time to get our elected officials on the record. As a constituent, ask them – publicly – who’s side are you on? What will you do to lower drug prices?


Share your story

Whether it’s the sky-rocketing and unaffordable price of your insulin, being uninsured, or being hit with a “surprise bill” by your insurance company, your story is powerful and matters.

 

If you’re near KC, Join our Rally to Stop #BigPharma’s Price Gouging

Thursday, October 10th at 4PM
Senator Josh Hawley’s KC District Office
4141 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111


Stand with UAW and Striking GM Workers

Longest Automotive Strike in US History comes to an end

After 40 days, UAW General Motors members voted to ratify the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement on Friday, October 25th.

Missouri Jobs with Justice is proud to stand with workers, including GM workers at the Claycomo, KS, and Wentzville, MO, plants as they picketed and stood up for better wages, benefits, health care, and general treatment for themselves, their families, and their co-workers. We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these workers and workers across the country – including the striking teachers in Chicago and beyond.

Important Update!

You can now support the striking UAW workers with the Labor Tribune’s $5 for the Fight Fund

Missouri Jobs with Justice Staff at UAW rally in Wentzville

Jobs With Justice continues to stand in solidarity with the almost 50,000 members of the United Auto Workers who have been on strike since  Monday, September 16th when their contract expired. These workers are taking bold, collective action to fight against corporate greed and demand fair wages, a fair share of profits, a path to permanent employment for temporary workers, affordable health care, and job security.

Jobs With Justice coalitions across the country are supporting workers on the picket lines. From organizing solidarity mobilizations to supporting picket lines in partnership with various community organizations to supporting calls for donations, Jobs With Justice coalitions are standing with the workers fighting corporate greed.

UAW 2250 President Glenn Kage with MOJWJ Policy Director Richard von Glahn

“General Motors and other companies would have us fall for the illusion that there isn’t enough money to support the people who make our cars enough to sustain their families. But we know there’s plenty of money; money from taxpayers who bailed the company out in 2008, money saved from Trump’s tax plan that could be in the hands of working people and not the back office executives, money that is all paying for senior management bonuses,  executive retreats, and lobbying efforts that do not align with our values. There’s plenty of money, and it’s ours! GM should be increasing wages and improving healthcare, not cutting them,” said Erica Smiley, executive director, National Jobs With Justice.

Even when GM tried to strong-arm and force workers into an agreement by suddenly terminating their health coverage, the workers stayed, and are staying strong and showing up in full force to the picket lines.  A decade after General Motors was bailed out by the federal government, and after making $35 billion in profits over the past three years, GM canceled the existing health care benefits that workers and their families depend on. The wife of one worker actually woke up from surgery to find out her health care had been canceled while the was being operated on.  

John Bowman, UAW Region 5 Government Affairs Director – Jobs with Justice board member and Workers Rights Board member with JWJ Policy Director Richard von Glahn

On September, 26, GM announced it will reverse its decision and restore the health care coverage of UAW members and their families. This reversal is a win for UAW members. But make no mistake, GM’s decision was not about the health and wellbeing of its workers; it was about protecting the company’s bottom line and reputation.

If GM truly cared about its workers, it would come to the bargaining table and agree to an offer that includes middle-class wages, affordable health care, job security, a fair share of the profits and a better future for temporary workers.  This win and GM’s about-face is only possible because of the brave UAW members on strike, on the picket line, and communities like Jobs with Justice marching in solidarity. 

It’s time GM stops playing games to try and force the UAW into a bad agreement and instead settles this strike on behalf of the hardworking employees who have sacrificed to make GM the success it is today.  Negotiations are continuing at the main table. The UAW will not leave the table until there is a strong and fair contract.

How to show your support on social media:

 Here are some sample tweets:

      • Taking care of one another is one of our most fundamental beliefs. To our @UAW neighbors and their families at @GM striking for dignity and respect, we send our support and prayers for your fight #StandWithUs
      • I stand for affordable quality #healthcare. I stand for a #LivingWage for workers. I stand up to #CorporateGreed. I stand with the #UAW workers. I demand @GM negotiate a fair contract. #StandWithUs
      • .@GM is turning their backs on over 48,000 @UAW workers asking for the basic rights they deserve. We are inspired by their courage and unity, and call on our community to #StandWithUs and offer support
      • .@GM has had BILLIONS in revenue in 2019 alone. The company’s stock is up more than 20% since January 1. Now the company is fighting to cut its workers’ wages and #healthcare. Thank you #UAW workers for standing up to corporate greed. #StandWithUs
      • Union jobs are the backbone of our country. Now GM must stand up and show up for the workers who sacrificed to save them from financial ruin. We stand in #Solidarity with @UAW. #StandWithUs


54th Anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare: Latest Threats

July 30, 2019


New Threats Loom as Medicare and Medicaid Turn 54

Beneficiaries celebrate successful healthcare programs while GOP lawsuit puts coverage and benefits at risk for millions

[COLUMBIA, MO] – Concerned Missourians celebrated the 54th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare today outside St. Francis House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality that offers meals, shelter, and community for homeless folks in Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s district. Speakers included Steve Jacobs of the St. Francis Catholic Worker House, Eric Scott of Mid-Missouri DSA, and Andrew Hutchinson from Missouri Jobs With Justice who shared stories about how these health insurance programs have improved their lives by providing access to quality, affordable services, discussed the potential impact of the Texas v. United States, a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on coverage and benefits, and the need to improve on the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare programs, not dismantle them. 

The health coverage of nearly 20 million Americans, including 169,000 Missourians and 24,400 of Rep. Hartzler’s constituents is at stake if attacks to repeal the ACA are successful. Additionally, Missouri would lose out on $1.16 billion in federal health care dollars. Thirty-seven states, including the District of Columbia, recognized the need for access to health care and expanded Medicaid for 17 million people. Missouri is one of 14 states that has refused to fully implement the ACA through expanding eligibility for Medicaid. In Missouri, 219,000 people would be eligible if our legislators expanded Medicaid. 

The Texas lawsuit seeks to overturn the ACA based on changes to the law’s individual mandate in President Trump’s 2017 tax law. Those changes paid for over $300 billion in tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations but also resulted in higher premiums and an increased number of uninsured people. 

“Our current political leaders are taking health care in the wrong direction,” said Eric Scott, Co-Chair Mid-MO DSA. “Instead of strengthening and expanding the nation’s most popular and effective programs, all we have seen in the last two years is attack after attack on health care in Congress, the states, and the courts. Lawmakers need to stop playing political games with Medicaid and Medicare, and instead focus on lowering prescription drug prices for everyone, and making sure everyone has access to affordable health care.”

“Right now, because of Missouri’s incredibly cruel eligibility levels for Medicaid, our homeless neighbors are often left without access to health care coverage. Expanding Medicaid as the ACA intended is the best chance for more of our neighbors to finally get the medical care they need,” said Steve Jacobs, founder of the St. Francis Catholic Worker House. “The Republican lawsuit, which Missouri has signed on to, not only threatens the coverage so many Missourians depend on, but could completely remove hope for homeless Missourians to access affordable health care coverage.”

The Texas v. United States lawsuit follows repeated efforts to repeal the ACA in Congress and President Trump’s 2020 federal proposal to cut over $700 billion out of Medicaid and the ACA as well as $582 billion from Medicare despite polls that continue to show health care is the most important issue to 2020 voters.  Polling also shows strong support for protecting and expanding Medicaid and Medicare and majority support among both Republicans and Democrats for candidates who will lower prescription drug prices. 

“Medicaid and Medicare have improved life for countless families over many generations, have helped support state budgets and health care providers including rural hospitals and clinics and many others,” said Andrew Hutchinson, Mid-Missouri Organizer with Missouri Jobs with Justice. “We should celebrate and invest in these pillars of our healthcare system, not worry about persistent partisan attacks that would take Medicaid and Medicare coverage from millions. It is  time politicians put the healthcare and well-being of constituents first by protecting and expanding Medicaid and Medicare so that we have even more to celebrate next year.”

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Missouri Jobs with Justice is a statewide grassroots coalition building transformative power for social, racial, and economic justice. Our individual and organizational members come together to hold decisionmakers accountable and to build a Missouri where opportunity exists for all regardless of race, identity, income, or immigration status. Follow our work at https://www.facebook.com/MissouriJobsWithJustice/ or www.mojwj.org