Lawmakers Prepare to Debate Right to Work

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JEFFERSON CITY - The President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation held a press conference Thursday to address the heated debate in Missouri.

Many Republican Senators gathered at the conference, which turned into a discussion on how to approach debating the bill when the full Senate takes on the bill Monday.

Right to Work legislation would give workers to option of paying union fees.

22 states have passed Right to Work legislation, including border states: Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee.

Former Republican legislator John Loudon said Right to Work legislation would make Missouri more attractive for potential businesses. He said he has spoke with multiple business owners who would move to Missouri if the state becomes a Right to Work state.

"I've had a St. Louis businessman who's told me twice, if you pass this bill, this a 100-year old St. Louis company with no operations in Missouri, and he told me if you become a right to work state," said Loudon "I will build the first factory here."

Democrats told KOMU 8 the legislation will lead to lower wages for workers. Critics have called the legislation "Right to Work Less".

"There is no bargaining, there is no sit down at the table and that is how everything is done, through comprise, and we've just taken that away," said Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, D- St. Louis.

Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, led Thursday's press conference. Mix has been traveling to a number of "Forced-Union" states. He said Missouri is no different than other states considering a move to become a Right to Work state.

"Freedom is freedom anywhere, whether it be Missouri, or Indianapolis, Indiana, or Madison, Wisconsin, and so talking about workers rights is something we'll do anytime any place," said Mix.

Sen. Wright-Jones said the bill is not worth considering at this time. She said this will not have a profound impact on worker freedoms.

"We are a state where you have choice, you can choose to work for a union shop or not," said Sen. Wright-Jones.