ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The state legislature decided to turn Missouri into a Right to Work state, but first it has to be voted on by the people.
Next Tuesday, voters will say yes or no to Proposition A, a vote on whether or not workers can be required to pay union dues.
As a union contractor, Tim Weis is speaking out against Prop A.
“As someone who is a proponent of personal responsibility, I’m personally responsible for 300 employees and their families,” he said. ‘
Weis is one of the 200,000 union workers in Missouri.
“In the construction industry, it's a symbiotic relationship. Labor and management are doing things to better our industry to provide quality, productive guys.”
A sign saying “No on Prop A” sits in front of his St. Charles County business.
There aren't nearly as many yes signs, but state Senator Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis says the support is there.
“Why should you be forced to support a union or pay dues if you don't want to, and likewise, why should you be forced to support an organization that supports candidates and causes that you don't support?” he said.
Former Governor Eric Greitens signed the Right to Work bill last year, saying it would boost employment. Under the proposed law, workers cannot be forced to join or pay dues to a labor union. But opponents gathered more than 300,000 signatures calling on Missouri voters to make the decision.
“The proposition ballot language is very confusing,” Onder said. “It was written by the unions and I really think if asked the question the right way, the people will support Right to Work and will make us the 28th Right to Work state.”
Senator Onder said even if voters decide Right to Work isn’t right for Missouri, there are other options the legislature could explore to still make it happen.
“It's the right thing to do, it's the morally right thing to do,” he said. “Missouri will become a Right to Work state.”
If Missouri becomes Right to Work, unions can and will still exist, but Weis says if they have to compete against non-union contractors who pay workers less and therefore can do the job cheaper, it won't work.
“I could pay ‘em whatever I want, but I have to compete every day,” Weis said. “I have to bid jobs every day to get them that's where the downhill spiral takes place.”
These 27 states have already put Right to Work into effect, and many see Missouri's vote next week as a big step towards a national Right to Work policy.