The Missouri AFL-CIO says Missourians are looking for action by the legislature on one issue — jobs. And the labor organization says it will work with business groups to get Missourians back to work.

“While there are many dedicated elected officials that have pledged to work cooperatively to get Missouri back to work, there are a few trying to take advantage of a deserate jobs situation,” AFL-CIO leaders say. “When Missouri business groups, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce introduced their priorities for this session, they talked about their vision for a pro-business agenda, and their agenda did nto include wholesale attacks on workers and their right to collectively bargain.”

Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary and Treasurer Herb Johnson says his organization wants to work with business to get more money into the hands of the working men and women of our state, and helping the Chamber of Commerce advance its legislative agenda would do that.

He admits the two interests have some different ideas about how to get that done, but that he looks forward to working with both Republican and Democrat legislators as well as business leaders to compromise and make it happen.

Referring to the Chamber’s “Fix the Six” priorities, Johnson says reforming the workers’ compensation program is paramount. He calls the current laws that changed the definition of workplace injuries in 2005 the result of “overzealous legislators,” and he says it’s putting employers at risk.

The Chamber’s other priorities include: Employment Law Reform, Franchise Tax Cap, Winimus Wage Escalator Elimination, Tort Reform and Unemployment Insurance Reform.

Johnson says the AFL-CIO is in favor of getting a second nuclear power plant in Callaway and says it should be a priority for legislators as it would create hundreds of jobs.

And he says the AFL-CIO will oppose Right to Work legislation, a measure House and Senate leaders have vowed to pass this session. Johnson says making Missouri a Right to Work state wouldn’t generate revenue and wouldn’t stimulate job growth.

Listen to the complete statement and press conference HERE. [Mp3, 58 min.]

Jessica Machetta reports [Mp3, 1:17 min.]

“It is outrageious that some politicians are promoting the interests of corporate interests outside our state over the urgent need to get Missourians back to work,” says the AFL-CIO. “To use the more than 280,000 Missourians out of work this winter as an excuse to pay back teh same greedy CEO’s that have been shipping our jobs overseas is shameful.”