Missouri came tantalizingly close last month to becoming America’s 26th Right to Work state. But after H.B.116, a measure prohibiting forced union dues and fees, was approved by lopsided state legislative majorities, it is about to fall prey to Big Labor Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto pen.
National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King blasted Mr. Nixon, whose campaigns have raked in a total of $4.6 million in cash alone from Big Labor, not counting additional millions in hidden, forced dues-funded “in-kind” support:
“Jay Nixon has already declared he will pay back his union-boss sugar daddies by trampling on the personal freedom of Missouri workers.”
No Worker Should Be Forced to Join or Pay Dues to a Labor Union
Ms. King added that elected officials from every part of the state, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, ought to have been able to support H.B.116 unreservedly:
“Every worker should be able to join and pay dues to a union, but no one should be forced. Unfortunately, under current law in Missouri and 24 other states, even employees who choose not to join a union may be compelled to pay union fees, potentially as high as full union dues, in order to avoid being fired.
“The individual employee’s freedom to support a union financially, regardless of what his or her fellow employees think or the employer thinks, and not be fired as a consequence, has long been protected in all 50 states.
“The employee’s personal freedom to choose NOT to bankroll a union is equally worthy of protection.”
Jobs in Midwestern Right to Work States Grew by 9.9%, Versus 1.6% in Missouri
Ms. King added that, while safeguarding employees’ freedom of association is the primary purpose of Right to Work laws, there is a great deal of evidence indicating Missouri employees and business owners will benefit economically when compulsory unionism is prohibited.
For example, from 2004 to 2014, private-sector payroll employment in the five Midwestern Right to Work states increased by an aggregate 9.9%, more than six times as much as in Missouri or in Midwestern forced-unionism states as a group, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
(Indiana and Michigan, which passed Right to Work laws in 2012, are excluded. Since Wisconsin’s Right to Work law was adopted only this year, it is counted as a forced-unionism state here.)
It’s Politically Smart For Elected Officials to Support Right to Work
Even though Right to Work policies are just and fair and correlated with superior job and compensation growth for employees and would-be employees, union lobbyists often warn politicians they must oppose them, or they will suffer electoral punishment. But even armed with ample amounts of forced-dues cash, they have failed repeatedly to make good on their threats.
Indeed, in Michigan last year, GOP Gov. Rick Snyder won reelection over union-label Democrat challenger Mark Schauer just 23 months after the former had signed Right to Work legislation.
Meanwhile, the number of pledged Right to Work supporters increased by eight in the Michigan House, and by three in the Michigan Senate. Despite investing heavily in the state in 2014, the union political machine did not defeat a single Michigan legislator who had voted for Right to Work.
Ms. King vowed that, in the wake of the imminent Nixon veto, the National Committee would continue reinforcing the mobilization efforts of grass-roots forced-unionism foes in Missouri and turning up the pressure on elected officials who have sided with Big Labor up to now.
“Because of the intense hostility of Gov. Nixon, the uniform opposition of his fellow Democrats in the Legislature, and the feckless efforts of a handful of GOP solons to appease the union hierarchy by helping to kill Right to Work, it is unlikely H.B.116 will become law this year,” Ms. King acknowledged.
“But by getting it to Mr. Nixon’s desk, citizen activists have virtually guaranteed Right to Work will be a major issue in the 2016 Missouri gubernatorial elections.
“And that bodes very well for the future of workplace freedom in Missouri.”