A plan to move Missouri’s vote over its “right-to-work” law from the November general election to the August primary is one step closer to reality after it received initial approval from a Missouri House committee on Tuesday.
The law, signed by Gov. Eric Greitens in February 2017, would prevent workers from being forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. But labor groups filed a petition to hold a referendum on the law, halting its enactment and setting the stage for this year’s vote.
Moving the vote to August could mean lower voter turnout, as general elections draw more voters than primaries do.
Right to work supporters, including Associated Industries of Missouri and the sponsor of last year’s bill, Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, say it’s necessary to make Missouri competitive in attracting business. Rehder said the timing of its enactment is important to helping lure pending projects to southeast Missouri.
Right to work opponents, including the AFL-CIO and Empower Missouri, say it takes important rights from workers.