The battle about turning Missouri into a right to work state has begun at the capitol. But Governor Nixon already has sent out a veto threat.
Majority Republicans have been laying the groundwork for a year or more. Now they’ve unveiled their proposal in a Senate committee with a bill sponsored by LuAnn Ridgeway of Smithbville who argues jobs are going to right to work states, epecially manufacturing jobs.
Organized labor turns out in force to counter her contentions and to oppose other arguments for right to work. Fenton electric company owner Emily Martin questions the claim that right to work will create jobs, noting only ten to 15 percent of Missouri workers are union members now and wondering how making Missouri a right to work state can increase jobs.
Ridgeway’s bill has gotten a two-and-a-half hour airing in the committee. Senate leader say the bill will come out…and be passed. At the end, though, came a message from state labor department director Larry Rebman: “The administration is opposed to the legislation.”
The committee could recommend full senate passage anyway next week. Senate leader Rob Mayer told reporters Monday the senate would give opponents a chance to have their say and then pass the bill.