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Missouri campaigners gear up for right-to-work vote

August 5, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Union members are canvassing across Kansas City ahead of a battleground vote over right-to-work policy in Missouri.

We Are Missouri campaigners are asking residents to repeal the state’s right-to-work law in the primary on Tuesday, the Kansas City Star reported . The union-backed political action committee is fighting against a coalition of three PACs, including Missourians for Freedom to Work.

The right-to-work issue will appear on the Missouri ballot Tuesday under Proposition A. Voters will decide whether to appeal or uphold the policy passed by the state General Assembly and signed by then-Gov. Eric Greitens last year. A coalition of labor groups petitioned to put the law up for a vote.

Supporters of the law argue that it gives workers the freedom to choose whether to support the union at their workplace. Workers are able to opt-out of full union membership and dues, but they can also pay fees to cover unions’ collective bargaining and representation services.

Union-backed opponents have said the policy lowers wages and weakens unions by allowing free-riders who aren’t paying for its services.

Missouri Rep. Holly Rehder of Sikeston is one of the sponsors of the state’s right-to-work legislation. She said she’s pushing for the policy on social media and knocking on doors alongside volunteers in Cape Girardeau.

“My husband has been putting out signs, and we’ve been working together as a team to try to get as much done as possible,” Rehder said.

University of Missouri-St. Louis political science chair Dave Robertson said it’ll come down to who shows up, since fewer voters usually turn out for August primaries.

Robertson predicts that the August primary could work in unions’ favor since the main motivation for some voters will be those who think they’ll be negatively affected.

Robynn Kuhlmann, a political scientist at the University of Central Missouri, said it’s unclear which side will win. But she said “it’s looking good for the unions right now.”

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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