JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri will not become a right-to-work state in 2015 following a failed attempt to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of this important bill to protect workers and spur economic growth.
Right-to-work legislation says that workers cannot be required to join a union and pay dues as a condition of employment. The language was contained in House Bill 116, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican from Springfield. This year, Rep. Burlison’s bill became the first right-to-work proposal to pass the Missouri General Assembly. Today, the bill died when lawmakers were not able to garner enough support to override Gov. Nixon’s veto. The final vote, 96-63, failed to reach a two-thirds majority required to override a veto.
“It’s incredibly disappointing to see our General Assembly — which is heavily comprised of lawmakers who were elected on pro-business platforms — continue to fall short when it comes to making Missouri a right-to-work state,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “As a state that doesn’t support right-to-work protections, Missouri will continue to be overlooked for job creation and business expansion opportunities. If we are going to change our economy and create jobs for the future, we need to start with passing right-to-work. This issue is not going away.”
The majority of Missouri employers support making our state Right-to-Work according to a Gallup survey released in 2015 of more than 1,000 CEOs and top management. Support for this policy was especially pronounced in 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 15-year strategic economic plan, Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead. Across the nation, 25 states have already passed right-to-work protections.
“Despite the rhetoric you hear from opponents, right-to-work is not a new idea. It’s not extreme. It’s also far from rare. In 2015, right-to-work is a basic protection offered in half of the states across the country,” said Mehan. “If we don’t extend this basic protection to Missourians soon, our state will continue to fall off the map for job creation.”
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.