Missouri House approves ‘Right-to-Work’ bill

By Chris Mathews

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House approved a bill Thursday that proponents call “Right to Work.”

The measure that now heads to the Senate would prohibit employers from requiring workers to join a union or pay union dues.

The bill was heavily favored by House Republicans, who said neighboring states with similar laws are attracting more jobs. Democrats said the bill would destroy unions and collective bargaining.

“Those of us who oppose Right to Work believe that it’s just another way of attacking workers and weakening unions,” said Rep. Judy Morgan, D-Jackson County. “Right to Work takes rights away from companies and workers to establish their own workplace rules.”

The legislation was approved by a House committee Monday after several tense exchanges between House Democrats and their Republican colleagues. The House passed the measure by a vote of 91-64. However, the measure fell short of the 109 votes required to override a veto by Missouri’s Democratic governor, Jay Nixon.

Although Republicans hold far more than a two-thirds majority in the House, 23 Republicans voted against the measure.