Major Illinois donor contributes funds to Missouri’s ‘right to work’ fight

An Illinois megadonor wants to make Missouri a “right to work” state.

Richard Uihlein, a wealthy packaging company executive from Lake Forest who is also helping to bankroll Attorney General Josh Hawley’s bid for the U.S. Senate, contributed $500,000 Tuesday to a Kansas City-based political action committee named “Freedom to Work,” which is raising cash to fend off a union-led attempt to kill efforts to change state labor laws.

Uihlein, who also contributed $360,000 to Gov. Eric Greitens’ campaign in 2016, has poured millions of dollars into helping upstart Republicans in races across the country.

The Freedom to Work PAC was formed in November to oppose a statewide vote in Missouri on whether to approve a law passed by the Legislature in 2017 to ban mandatory union fees.

But, union-led forces collected enough signatures to put the prospect of a new law on the statewide ballot, allowing voters to weigh in on the issue.

Uihlein’s contribution comes after a nonprofit group linked to Greitens has contributed over $1.1 million to Freedom to Work since Jan. 1.

The move by Uihlein is the latest in a series of big-dollar contributions flooding in for both sides of the fight over the effort to give workers the option of paying dues to labor unions.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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