Debate Over Right-To-Work Arrives In Missouri

Debate Over Right-To-Work Arrives In Missouri

03/14/2011

A proposed right-to-work legislation, similar to the one that brought 30,000 protesters to the capitol of Wisconsin, could potentially spark a fierce debate in Missouri’s Congress.

Rob Mayer, the Missouri Senate President Pro Tem, along with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, supports making Missouri a right-to-work state. This was according to a senate news release.

Sponsored by Senator Luann Ridgeway, a Republican from Smithville, Senate Bill 1 “Bars employers from requiring employees to engage in or cease engaging in certain labor practices.” According to the news release and mo.gov, the bill is listed on the informal calendar of the senate.

In a news release, Ridgeway said, “Right-to-work is not about whether unions can continue to operate in Missouri; rather it is about removing a legal barrier that is harming our state’s ability to compete for jobs that impact the 89 percent of Missourians that are not union members.”

Scott Holste, the spokesman of Gov. Jay Nixon, in an e-mail said that the governor stated he is not in favour of the right-to-work legislation.

For their part, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry cites its reason for supporting the legislation as a way to increase the Missourians’ job opportunities.

In the senate news release, Senate President Pro Tem Mayer stated, “By simply making sure that paying dues or joining a union can no longer be a condition of getting or keeping a job, we can bring more jobs to our state.” He further stated, “By better competing with our neighbours, especially when it comes to manufacturing, we can put more Missourians back to work.”

The news release also pointed out that out of the eight states surrounding Missouri, six are considered to be right-to-work states.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com