Right to Work talks continue in House committee

The discussion about making Missouri a Right to Work state continued this week in a House committee.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety heard testimony on House Bill 1053, filed by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson, and House Bill 1143, filed by Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin. Both bills would end the practice of employees being required to join a union as a condition of employment. Rep. Lichtenegger’s bill would put the proposal to a statewide vote.

During the hearing, advocates for Right to Work, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, pointed out how more and more states are adopting Right to Work legislation. If Missouri fails to act soon, the state will find itself at a competitive disadvantage compared to the 24 states that have already adopted Right to Work, including six of Missouri’s eight border states.

“While the Missouri Chamber and pro-business legislators have worked for years to create a compelling case for business growth and expansion in Missouri, Right to Work status remains a big issue that employers truly consider when deciding where to invest,” said Jay Atkins, general counsel and director of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber. “It is promising to see our legislators taking a proactive approach and making this change a priority this session.”

The House committee considering these bills has already also heard testimony on House Bill 1099, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, which contains similar provisions.

For more information about Right to Work issues, please contact Jay Atkins, general counsel and director of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, at jatkins@mochamber.com or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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