August Primary to Include Issue of “Right to Work”

A ballot initiative that addresses labor unions is set for a vote during the August primary election, held on Tuesday, August 7th. In 2017, the Missouri General Assembly passed “right to work” legislation which prohibits the requirement for workers to join a union as a condition of employment. After the law was passed, signatures were collected to put the issue to a vote of the people.

Proponents of “right to work” laws say that workers shouldn’t be forced to pay dues to a union that they feel don’t represent their interests in order to have a job. Opponents of “right to work” laws argue that workers who don’t pay dues still benefit from the collective bargaining efforts of union leaders and that weakening unions depress wages for everyone.

The MCC has not taken a position on this ballot initiative. The exact ballot language (obtained from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office) pertaining to this issue is as follows:

Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right-to-Work”) as passed by the general assembly in 2017, which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rata (fair-share); make any activity which violates employees’ rights illegal and ineffective; allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate employees’ rights; and which shall not apply to union agreements entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19? State and local government entities expect no costs or savings.