On Labor Day, unions voice opposition to Missouri’s ‘right-to-work’ bill

The annual Labor Day celebration Monday in St. Louis included a parade, grilled hot dogs and a heaping helping of opinions on the state’s looming battle over “right-to-work” legislation. Local unions used the Labor Day event to drum up opposition to the bill, which would prohibit agreements between labor and employers that require employees to join unions.

The legislation was passed this spring by the Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature, but it was later vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The bill is expected to resurface at next week’s veto session in Jefferson City, but it’s unclear whether the legislation has enough support to override Nixon’s veto. The measure passed the House and Senate short of the two-thirds majorities that would be required for an override.

Opponents of the bill, including labor unions, view it as an attempt to lower wages and chip away at workers’ rights. Backers, including business interests, say it makes the state more business-friendly and would create more jobs.

The fight over the legislation has revolved around statistics on either side of that fault line, with the two parties citing different statistics to support their cause.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Joplin Globe

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