After ‘Right to Work” Passage, MO Lawmakers Continue Debate on Controversial Labor Bills

By on March 17, 2017

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Weeks after passing a ‘right to work’ bill prohibiting mandatory union dues, Missouri Republicans continue to move full steam ahead on the labor reform proposals.

The election of Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, has opened the door for the GOP-led Legislature to revisit pro-business policies once blocked by former Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto pen, including the “paycheck protection bill.”

Senate lawmakers kicked off the week by debating a measure that would require public employees give annual permission before union dues be taken from their paychecks.

It’s already passed the House, where supporters applauded the state’s continued effort to keep unions accountable to the members from whom they collect dues.

In addition to requiring union members authorize deductions from their wages, the bill also requires unions make numerous financial records available to the employees they represent in a searchable electronic format – including money spent or contributed to candidates for political office, their political action committees, issue advocacy and efforts to lobby for or against legislation.

Under the bill, unions must also be certified as the exclusive bargaining representation of its workers through a secret ballot election, and can only be certified if 30 percent of members are on board.

Senate Democrats say the legislation is a thinly veiled attempt to weaken the power of Missouri’s labor unions, adding layers of bureaucracy that would ultimately cause them hardship in an effort to satisfy special interests.

A similar but less comprehensive effort was vetoed by Nixon last year, and the Senate failed to override the veto, with Republicans from labor-friendly districts joining Democrats to reject it.

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