Missouri voters reject Prop A on right to work

9 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, August 07 2018 Aug 7, 2018 Tuesday, August 07, 2018 10:15:00 PM CDT August 07, 2018 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Reporter and Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director

COLUMBIA - The message "Right to work, wrong for Missouri," prevailed Tuesday as voters said no to Prop A. The proposition failed by a 2-1 margin.

The fight to make Missouri a right to work state started with Senate Bill 19, which then-Gov. Eric Greitens signed in February 2017. Opponents of right to work immediately began efforts to reverse the law. They gathered enough signatures to put it on Tuesday's ballot.

Those opponents said the measure would hurt working Missourians.

Emilie Bridges of the group We Are Missouri said, "It makes it harder to earn a liveable wage. It makes it harder to find a safe job to work in, to make sure that you're safe on the job. So we think that voting no is a vote for working families in Missouri."

But right to work supporters say the measure is about giving workers a choice on whether or not to join a union.

Dan Mehan, of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "What the legislation does, is it doesn't force people to part with part of their paycheck to simply to have a job. That's simply what it is. You're not compelled, you're not mandated, forced to join a union and pay union dues."

The president of Missouri's AFL-CIO said the establishment has been trying to force right to work "down our throats" for decades.

Mike Lewis said, "40 years later we came together to say no way. Not then. Not now. Not ever.”

But Mehan warns the decision could stunt the states economic growth.
"We're in a boom cycle of the economy right now but that won't last forever," he said. "The economy will cycle and when it cycles down, the states that are Right To Work will withstand that better than Missouri."

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