May 15, 2013
By Neal Tepel
Jefferson City, Missouri – The Right to Work Debate has now spread from Michigan to Missouri. A recent bill introduced in the Missouri legislature would reduce union and worker rights for municipal employees. The legislation would require public employee unions to gain consent every year from members before union dues or PAC money could be deducted from member paychecks. The bill would also require that unions gain written permission annually from members before using those deductions for political purposes.
The bill covers all public employee unions, including some state workers and local and regional government employees. The 35,000 members of the Missouri National Education Association would be affected. There would be an exemption for first responders such as firefighters and paramedics. Clearly this Missouri legislation could weaken public labor unions. The paycheck deduction bill is Senate Bill 29.
GOP and business leaders believe that interest is building in Missouri for legislation that would reduce union rights. Traditionally labor unions have a very different view on right-to-work than business groups. With the legislative session in Missouri entering its final days the bill has stalled in this years session. The GOP attack on labor is continuing in states and municipalities across the country.