Voters reject Missouri right-to-work law

That’s right, We’re Union And We Ain’t Going Nowhere!

BY BRETT SAMUELS – The Hill

Missouri voters on Tuesday solidly rejected the state’s right-to-work law, which would have allowed workers to opt out of paying mandatory union fees as part of their contract.

The Associated Press called the results shortly before 11 p.m., with 63 percent of voters opposing the state law that had not yet gone into effect. Roughly 37 percent of voters supported the law, with 54 percent of precincts reporting as of 10:50 p.m. EST.

The state’s general assembly passed the law last year, according to The Kansas City Star. Then-Gov. Eric Greitens (R) later signed the measure, but it was not enacted because a coalition of labor groups petitioned to put it to a vote.

Proponents of the law argued that workers should not be required to pay union dues.

Opponents maintain that right-to-work laws weaken labor unions’ overall bargaining power. They argue that those who don’t pay fees should not earn the same benefits as those who contribute to the union.

The vote marked a victory for unions in a Republican-controlled state about a month after the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to public-sector unions.

In a 5-4 ruling that was split along ideological lines, the court struck down an Illinois law, similar to laws in 22 other states, that allowed agencies to collect fees from nonunion members for collective bargaining.

The decision overturned a 1977 court precedent from that allowed public-sector unions to accept fees from nonmembers to cover nonpolitical union activities.