Hearing draws crowd as lawmakers push to pass ‘right-to-work’ law

As Missouri’s battle over a right-to-work law heats up, both sides agree on a key point: passage is inevitable this year.

At Tuesday’s legislative hearing on the issue in the Missouri Capitol, dozens of supporters and opponents crammed a Statehouse hearing room to debate the merits of a so-called right-to-work measure, which would ban mandatory union fees.

Another hearing is scheduled Wednesday during which the committee is expected to hold a vote.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, has said he hopes to send a right-to-work bill to the Senate before the end of the month. Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, has pledged to sign such a measure, which would make Missouri at least the 27th right-to-work state.

Unions are countering with plans to launch an initiative-petition drive to put a proposal on the 2018 statewide ballot that would kill off the right-to-work law.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, about a third of Missouri voters live in households with a union member, a union retiree or a teacher.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio, Columbia Missourian

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