National organizations are raising the stakes and the pressure on GOP lawmakers in Missouri to vote on a so-called “right to work” law, which would bar making union membership a requisite of a job.
Unions and Democrats say “right to work” allows non-union employees to share the benefits of union membership without having to pay dues. Backers say “right to work” favors businesses and keeps workers from being forced to join a union.
House Majority Floor Leader John Diehl (R-Town and Country) says the bill was going to be brought up Wednesday but he was asked to hold off by Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) and others.
“The Speaker and the bill sponsor believed that there are some improvements that can be made in the ballot language, so they asked me to hold off on it,” says Diehl. “Assuming that the ballot language issue gets corrected, my plan would be to go to it on Wednesday of next week.”
Jones says he is confident that there is support for “right to work” in his caucus.
“If you look at our caucus of currently 108 people, I can definitely say there is a strong majority of that 108 that wants us to have a vote on that issue this year and move that bill forward.”
Diehl thinks the vote will be close, and Thursday’s House vote to pass what supporters call “paycheck protection” legislation could be seen as supporting that prediction. The bill passed 83-69 but 17 Republicans voted against it.
Called “paycheck deception” by Democrats and unions, the bill would require that workers annually sign off on whether unions can take dues out of employee’s checks. Opponents argue such deductions are already voluntary.
Jones has called “paycheck protection” a way to get to the goal or right-to-work.