Republican Governor Eric Greitens will sign today SB 182, a bill that bans the practice of requiring that non-union contractors pay union wages to workers involved in public construction projects. The so-called project labor agreements prohibited are for things like jails, courthouses, schools and fire stations. The measure will also cut state funding to Missouri cities and counties that force non-union contractors to pay workers union wages for such jobs.
Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker will be at today’s bill signing in eastern Missouri’s Earth City, which is an industrial/warehouse area near I-70. The sponsors of the legislation, Rep. Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, and Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, will also attend.
In a press release today from Greitens, he says the changes ensure that special advantages are not given to union bosses when negotiating government contracts.
“Project Labor Agreements drive up the cost of construction and kill jobs,” says Governor Greitens. “Our top priority is more jobs for the people. We’re eliminating this sweetheart deal for special interests, protecting taxpayers, and creating more opportunity for all workers in Missouri.”
Opponents of the measure say the quality of workers, projects completed and wages will deteriorate.
The legislation is one of two major labor bills passed earlier this year by the Missouri Legislature’s GOP supermajority. The other one, known as Right-to-Work, bars mandatory union fees in the workplace. Greitens has signed that measure into law.