Missouri's November Election May Determine Right to Work

By: Daniel Steingold | August 28, 2016

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Missouri becoming the nation’s 27th right to work state will likely depend upon the upcoming November election.

To clarify, right to work is a term that refers to unions not being able to force employees to join and pay dues as part of being hired at a new job.

If Republican nominee Eric Greitens is elected, it is almost a certainty that Missouri will immediately become a right to work state, which goes in line with the typical party platform of opposing unionized labor.

If Chris Koster, the Democratic candidate, emerges victorious, it is highly unlikely that Missouri will change to a right to work model.

One representative from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry said of the potential significance, “Right to work would be a game-changer for the state of Missouri.” He added, “It mitigates an obstacle to employers who are deciding whether to come to Missouri. It would put out a shingle saying we’re open for business.”

Democrats, on the other hand, generally believe that the right to work movement attacks collective bargaining, destroying unions in the process. They often deride it as “right to work for less,” presenting data that shows that wages in such states are lower than in states that allow freedom when it comes to joining a union.

It should be mentioned that Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a right to work bill last year, but Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, blocked the measure. The legislature was unable to generate enough votes to overcome the veto.

Both Koster and Greitens have received a big portion of their campaign funds from parties either backing or opposing Missouri becoming a right to work state.

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