JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Paying union fees could no longer be a condition of employment in Missouri under a bill endorsed by a House committee.
The panel voted 7-3 Wednesday to adopt what supporters call "right-to-work" legislation. Sponsoring Republican Rep. Eric Burlison, of Springfield, says the measure makes Missouri an attractive location for new businesses.
Opponents say the measure would weaken labor unions by forcing them to bargain for workers who would no longer be required to pay representation fees. Unions are required by federal law to represent all workers in a bargaining unit even if they are not members but are currently allowed to charge fees for collective bargaining.
Burlison says the bill doesn't harm unions but instead protects the rights of workers to freely choose associations.