right to work

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' nonprofit has donated $250,000 to a political action committee created to help stave off efforts by labor unions to repeal Missouri's right-to-work law.

The Kansas City Star reports that the source of the money given Monday to Missourians for Worker Freedom is unknown. That's because nonprofits, such as Greitens' A New Missouri Inc., aren't required to disclose donors.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. June 26 with comment from Ashcroft — Missouri’s top labor group says the union effort to go to the ballot box next year to block “right to work’’ remains on course, despite a judge’s ruling Thursday that changes the ballot language.

The state AFL-CIO already has collected “tens of thousands of signatures,’’ said spokeswoman Laura Swinford. But those signatures were on petitions that contained the original summary ballot language that had been approved by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.

Supporters of right to work in Missouri are coming together to raise money to fend off attacks on the new law. Liberty Alliance attorney Edward Greim says the political action committee's goal is to support the law banning mandatory union fees, which is set to take effect in August.

Opponents are trying to derail the law by putting it to voters and attempting to undo it by changing the Missouri Constitution. Greim said Liberty Alliance opposes both of those efforts.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens during his first 100 days in office made good on a top campaign promise to sign right to work legislation.

Greitens passed the 100-day mark on Wednesday. He achieved a major campaign promise months before, when he signed a law in February banning mandatory union fees.

But Greitens has had less success in strengthening state ethics laws, another top pledge.

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is about to make Missouri the 28th state to ban mandatory union fees

Greitens plans to sign the right-to-work bill into law Monday then travel around the state announcing his support for the measure.

The governor had pledged to sign right to work while on the campaign trail. He and other supporters say it will bring business and jobs to the state. Opponents say it aims to weaken unions and could lead to lower wages.

Missouri's Republican-led Senate is advancing a right-to-work bill to ban mandatory union fees.

Senators voted 21-12 to give the bill initial approval Wednesday. It needs another vote to move to the House, which has already passed an almost-identical bill.

Three Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the proposal.

Right to work has new momentum with Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' support. He says he'll sign it if the GOP-led Legislature sends it to his desk.

David Shane / Flickr

A Missouri House panel has voted to advance a right-to-work bill to bar mandatory union fees.

House Economic Development Committee members voted 8-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

david_shane / Flickr

The conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, is launching an advertising campaign against Missouri Republican lawmakers who don't support right to work.

j.stephenconn / Flickr

The Missouri House was 13 votes short of overriding Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the right to work bill during its veto session yesterday. 

Updated 4:32 p.m., Sept. 16 with vote The Republican push to bring "right to work" to Missouri failed in a 96-63 vote in the Missouri House. Up until the veto session started it was unknown whether Republicans legislative leaders would attempt the override. As it was, the GOP picked up four votes and fell short of the 109 needed to counter Gov. Jay Nixon's clear stand against the measure.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, says that a final decision on whether to bring up House Bill 116 could be decided right before the noon start.

Amid GOP calls that he give back the money, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says any controversy over $50,000 that he recently received from the national UAW misses the point of why he vetoed an anti-union bill known as “right to work.”

“This is not partisan to me,’’ Nixon said in an interview Thursday after an unrelated news conference to herald a new business coming to the city’s Grand Center area.

As expected, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed the “right-to-work” bill passed by state lawmakers just before their session ended last month.

The measure would stop employers from making union dues a condition of employment. As it stands now, unions and businesses can make that requirement if a majority of workers have voted to be in a union.

It wasn't particularly surprising that state Sen. Bob Onder was pushing hard to get so-called "right to work" legislation through a seemingly intractable Missouri Senate.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican campaigned last year in support of right to work, which bars arrangements that force workers to pay union dues if a majority voted to organize. He supported that measure even though the population of union members has steadily increased in St. Charles County, which may be why his two unsuccessful GOP rivals opposed right to work during the campaign.

Amid a sex-text scandal engulfing the House speaker, the Missouri House voted Wednesday to approve an anti-union bill that would make Missouri the nation's 26th "right-to-work" state.

But the 92-66 vote was well shy the 109 needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s promised veto, prompting even some Republican lawmakers to blast their leadership for pressing for the controversial matter during the session’s final week.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Republicans have used their large majorities to send a "right-to-work" measure to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon but appear to lack the support to override an expected veto.

The Missouri House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would prohibit workplace contracts that require union fees to be collected from nonmembers.

After shutting down a Democratic filibuster, the Missouri Senate voted 21-13 to approve an anti-union measure that would make Missouri a “right-to-work’’ state.

Republican backers were two votes short Tuesday night of the 23 needed to override a guaranteed veto by Gov. Jay Nixon. They also achieved the final vote by using a controversial and rarely used procedure – called “moving the previous question,’’ or PQ – that angered many of the bill’s opponents.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

Opponents of a right-to-work measure packed the Capitol halls as Missouri's Republican leaders pushed to send the measure to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in the Legislature's final week.

On this special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about the passage of “right to work” legislation in the Missouri. 

The bill in question – sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield – would bar unions and employers from requiring all workers to join a union and pay union fees, if a majority votes to organize. It passed the Missouri House on Thursday with 92 "yes" votes, which falls short of the majority needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

Paul Sableman

The Missouri House is a step closer to debating a bill forbidding employers from requiring workers to pay dues to a union.

The House Workforce Standards and Development Committee on Wednesday approved three right-to-work bills, marking an early start on a measure that failed to pass the full chamber last year.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

The quest by House Speaker Tim Jones to pass new limitations on unions has focused attention on 11 of the 108 Republicans in the Missouri House.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri's House has narrowly endorsed legislation prohibiting labor contracts from requiring workers to pay union fees as a condition of employment.

Justin Paprocki / KBIA News

Since the early 1800s in Missouri, there have been laws against selling certain items on Sundays. These laws are called Blue Laws, and they were originally designed to give citizens and businesses a day of rest. But a motorcycle dealer in Kansas City is pushing to knock down one of the state's last remaining blue laws. KBIA's Justin Paprocki reported on how Sunday motorcycle sales could soon be allowed, with producing by Matthew Zuzolo.

File photo / KBIA

    Across the nation, “right to work” bills have received a lot of attention. Twenty four states have adopted this legislation, most recently Indiana and Michigan. “Right to work” prohibits labor contracts from requiring all workers to pay union fees, regardless of whether they are union members.

Six of the eight states bordering Missouri have already passed “right to work,” one of which is Oklahoma. Bill Lant, representative from Pineville, sees a big difference between these two states.

The first half of Missouri's 2014 legislative session is over, and lawmakers have left Jefferson City for their annual spring break.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

A Missouri House committee has endorsed a measure, known as "right to work," that would bar labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees.

Missouri House of Representatives

One of Missouri's largest labor organizations has hired a former Republican House Speaker as a lobbyist.

The Missouri AFL-CIO hired Steve Tilley this week as the labor organization prepares to combat "right to work" measures this year. The legislation would prohibit labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees.

Tilley was first elected to the House in 2004 and became Speaker in 2011. While in that office he shied away from "right to work" and said it was not part of his agenda.

The first full week of the Missouri’s General Assembly is officially underway, and already the focus has shifted away from the expected topics – tax cuts and Medicaid expansion – and landed smack dab in the midst of a potentially bruising battle over labor rights.

The fight offers the potential of overshadowing other legislative issues for weeks, if not months.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A bill to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state was the subject of a hearing in Jefferson City Monday.

As written, the so-called "Freedom to Work Act" (House Bill 1099) would bar workers from being required to "engage in or cease engaging in specified labor organization practices" as a condition for employment.  It's sponsored by State Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield.

Missouri Capitol
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The first bill being considered by a Missouri House committee this year would prohibit the payment of union fees from being a condition of employment.

The legislation, known as "right to work," is getting a hearing in the House Workplace Development and Workplace Safety Committee.

It is a top priority for Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka. He led a rally of about 100 activists in support of the bill before the legislative session opened last week.

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