Missouri lawmakers send right to work to Gov. Greitens' desk - KMOV.com

Missouri lawmakers send right to work to Gov. Greitens' desk

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Lawmakers after right-to-bill vote (Credit: Ray Preston) Lawmakers after right-to-bill vote (Credit: Ray Preston)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com/AP) – Missouri lawmakers have passed the right-to-work proposal, sending it Gov. Eric Greitens' desk.

House members on Thursday took a final vote on the so-called right-to-work bill, which would ban mandatory union fees.

Gov. Eric Greitens has promised to sign the bill. His Democratic predecessor, Gov. Jay Nixon, vetoed right to work in 2015.

A last minute push by opponents of the bill fell short, which included a retired carpenter lobbying lawmakers saying, "watch the death of the middle class."

Proponents say the law gives workers more freedom, will bring more jobs to Missouri, and provide an economic boost. Opponents argue it will take power away from unions and lead to lower wages.

Union workers filled the House in the upper gallery, and at times, the debate on the floor was passionate and contentious.

Under right-to-work, unions will not be able to require workers to pay dues as a condition of employment.

After lawmakers passed the bill, several right-to-work opponents gathered outside Governor Greitens' office door making a public plea for Greitens not to sign the bill.

"Right-to-work is wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Wrong for workers, wrong for family, wrong for our communities," Martin Rafanan of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America said.

"My union is my voice to make sure I have a say in the workplace and right-to-work hinders my voice," Shane Miller, a union painter, said.

While union workers are very disappointed in the development of right-to-work, The St. Louis Area Chamber said they have not yet taken a position.

If Greitens signs the bill, Missouri will become the 28th right-to-work state.

Seven of the eight states that surround Missouri already have right-to-work laws, including Kentucky where it passed last month. New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a similar proposal.

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