Right to Work

Updated at 3:25 p.m. with law suspended — With the submission of more than 300,000 signatures Friday, Missouri’s right-to-work law won't go into effect Aug. 28 and its fate likely will be put to voters in 2018.

The law is suspended, Secretary of State spokeswoman Maura Browning told St. Louis Public Radio. The office still needs to verify that at least 100,000 of the signatures are from registered voters — the minimum to force a statewide vote in November 2018.

She said the count will take weeks and that if there isn't enough, the law will be put in place.

Right to Work
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The debate over the economic impact of Missouri’s right-to-work law did not end when Gov. Eric Greitens’ signed Senate Bill 19 on Monday, which prohibits unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues.

Hours after the bill signing, labor interests filed a referendum petition that would delay the implementation of the law until voters can weigh in on the matter.

Eric Greitens
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Using an abandoned warehouse in Springfield as his backdrop, Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed legislation Monday making Missouri the nation’s 28th right-to-work state.

The law, which bars employers and unions from requiring workers to pay union dues or fees, completes decades of work by the GOP and business groups. Lawmakers passed a right-to-work bill in 2015 but it was vetoed by then Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.  

In a purely technical sense, right to work was sent Thursday to Gov. Eric Gretiens' desk after it passed through Missouri General Assembly.

But in reality, the seemingly endless fight to bar unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues ended last November at the Chase Park Plaza. That's when Democrat Chris Koster congratulated Greitens on his victory in the governor’s race. At that point, right to work essentially became a done deal.

The start of December is the start of Missouri lawmakers pre-filing legislation for the 2017 legislative session.

One that has been controversial for some time is the effort to limit the power of labor unions by turning Missouri into a so-called right-to-work state. The effort in the House is being led by Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston.

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