Friday, August 24, 2018
More than 67 percent of Missouri voters voted against Proposition A on August 7, so it's official: the bill colloquially known as Right to Work will be repealed. If it had been passed, Prop A would have made the paying of union dues optional.
Currently, 28 U.S. states are right-to-work states; Missouri's "no" vote is the first overturning of a right to work measure since 2011.
Proponents of Prop A hoped a passage of the bill would hold union leaders accountable to union members by providing services that encouraged paying union dues. Supporters also hoped the bill would attract more businesses to Missouri -- since it is likely that regulatory laws for businesses are less strict in right-to-work states -- leading to continued economic growth in the state. Opponents argued many people would opt to not pay union dues, while still receiving union representation, leading to the dissolvement of unions and therefore to lower wages in Missouri. There are mixed data about the effects of right-to-work laws on wages, number of jobs created and union size in states who have already implemented bills similar to Proposition A.
In short, August's "no" outcome for Proposition A means things will stay as they have been; workers, by federal law, will not be required to join unions, but those who choose to will continue paying mandatory union dues.
Sources: "Missouri Proposition A, Right to Work Referendum (August 8)" ballotpedia.org; "Proponents, Opponents Split as Prop. A Campaign Heats Up," News Tribune; "Commitment 2018: Taking a Look at What Proposition A Means for Missouri Workers," KMBC News; "Missouri Voters Just Blocked the Right-to-Work Law Republicans Passed to Weaken Labor Unions," vox.com.