right to work

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.

www.timwjones.com

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 scheduled for a Monday 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.

The Missouri General Assembly's 2014 session is underway, and the first day sounded a lot like last year's session.

In his opening remarks, House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, laid out his agenda for this year's regular session: medical malpractice reform, making Missouri a right-to-work state, and cutting taxes.

Missouri lawmakers open their annual session Wednesday with some different priorities than those of Gov. Jay Nixon.

File Photo / KBIA

After recent successes in Michigan and Indiana, supporters of "right-to-work" laws now are focusing their efforts on Missouri, Ohio and Oregon. But instead of relying on potentially reluctant governors to enact the measures, they are looking to place the issue before voters.

In Missouri, the Republican-led Legislature will consider whether to refer the measure to the 2014 ballot.

Two dozen states currently have "right-to-work" laws that prohibit union fees from being a condition of employment.

KBIA file photo

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is predicting that voters will get a chance to decide whether to make Missouri the 25th state to enact a right-to-work law.

The St. Louis branch of the NAACP is teaming up with local labor union groups to fight against efforts in Jefferson City to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state.


Chapter President Adolphus Pruitt says African-Americans are more likely to be union members than any other ethnicities in the United States, so the partnership makes sense.


“Right-to-work is a problem that exists across the country," Pruitt said.  "It’s trying to rear its ugly head up here in Missouri, (and) we’re gonna find a way to fight it back.”

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Labor union members from across Missouri descended on the State Capitol today, hoping to convince lawmakers to defeat bills they say are anti-worker.

File / KBIA

A Missouri House committee is taking up legislation that would bar union membership or dues as a condition of employment.

The House Workforce Development Committee scheduled a public hearing Wednesday on the bill, which supporters call "right to work."

Approval by the Legislature would put the proposed new law to a statewide vote this November.
Supporters argue the legislation would allow Missouri to be more competitive in the job market. Opponents say it would weaken unions and hinder collective bargaining.