Republican Rehder plans to resurrect ‘right-to-work’ fight in 2017

Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, plans to file “right-to-work” legislation when the Missouri Legislature returns in January.

Photo courtesy of Missouri House Communications
Rep. Holly Rehder | Courtesy of Missouri House Communications

If Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, wins the race for governor, Rehder says she will try to bypass Koster and have the measure placed on the statewide ballot. While 60 percent of Missourians voted against right-to-work laws in 1978, Rehder says things are different now, with union membership at less than 8 percent.

The controversial legislation says that a person cannot be required to join or refrain from joining a labor organization as a condition of employment. Rehder, who chairs the House Select Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations, says states that have passed right-to-work legislation have seen increased employment, including more union jobs.

Koster and other Democrats disagree. Koster says he would veto a right-to-work measure, saying states that have passed it have lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces. Koster also says right-to-work states, on average, saw smaller median income growth than Missouri.

Koster’s Republican opponent in the race for governor, nonprofit executive and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, supports right-to-work laws.

Read more: Missourinet

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