Outside of Missouri, the most closely watched contest in the Aug. 7 elections here will not be any of the political races; it will be the resolution of an important policy question. In the referendum known as Proposition A, voters will have the final word on whether Missouri becomes the nation’s 28th state to enact right-to-work (RTW) legislation.
right to work
A recent op-ed in the Columbia Missourian calls Right to Work “an attack on our entire community.” If Missouri passes Right to Work, the author warns, we will see “a negative ripple effect on their communities financially, politically, socially and spiritually.”
If you’ve turned on your television lately, you may have seen an ad in which a gentleman from Oklahoma tells viewers that after Oklahoma adopted right-to-work, everybody “lost.” Specifically, he says he lost his job because of it, and he claims that tens of thousands Oklahomans lost their jobs, too. To make matters worse, in the ad’s telling, wages in Oklahoma even fell for those who kept their jobs because of right-to-work.
I get asked all the time whether Missouri has “right to work” for its government employees. The answer is an unequivocal “no.” Missouri is not a right-to-work state. Not for the private sector. Not for government workers, either. This means that government workers, such as firefighters, teachers, and social workers, can be forced to pay for a union’s services. Even if they object.