JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is one step away from becoming the nation’s 26th Right-to-Work state. With a final vote by the Missouri House today, the Missouri General Assembly has passed legislation saying workers cannot be forced to join labor unions, or pay union dues, to keep a job. The governor’s signature is the only action that remains in order for House Bill 116 to become law.
“This means more jobs and opportunities for our state, plain and simple,” said Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Too often, Missouri has been overlooked by businesses looking to expand because we were not a Right-to-Work state. Too often, Missouri workers have worried about their jobs being moved to Right-to-Work states. We applaud the courage of the General Assembly to take on this difficult issue. Times have changed and Missouri must be willing to change with the times, or be left behind.”
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder presided over the nine hours of debate in the Missouri Senate on May 12. Sen. Dan Brown employed a rare procedural maneuver called “moving to the previous question” to bring the discussion to an end so that a vote could be taken. The final vote to pass the bill in the Senate was 21-13.
Today, after several hours of debate, the House voted 92-66 to send the bill on to Gov. Nixon.
The majority of Missouri employers support making our state Right-to-Work according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 CEOs and top management conducted by Gallup. Support for this policy was even higher in some industry sectors, such as transportation, utilities and communications, where 67 percent supported making Missouri a Right-to-Work state. The survey was part of the Missouri Chamber’s effort to develop a 15-year strategic economic plan for our state called Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead.
Gallup also interviewed site selectors about Missouri’s labor status.
“Site selectors encouraged Missouri to become Right-to-Work,” Mehan said. “One site selector commented that Missouri’s prospect flow in manufacturing is only 60 percent of what it would be if it was Right-to-Work.”
Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican from Springfield, sponsored the Right to Work legislation. The bill was handled by Sen. Dan Brown in the Missouri Senate.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) is the largest business association in Missouri. Together, with the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Missouri Chamber represents more than 40,000 employers.