The people of Missouri may have voted against the state's right-to-work law, but that does not mean the issue is dead.
Tuesday night's vote was a big win for unions, which The Associated Press says spent millions of dollars in recent weeks to convince Missourians that right-to-work is bad for the Show Me State. Organizations including AFL-CIO have long argued that right-to-work means less pay, fewer benefits, and unsafe working conditions. But Jeremy Cady of Americans for Prosperity Missouri says that's not true, and that right-to-work merely allows someone the freedom to not pay dues or fees as a condition of employment.
"I've already talked to a number of legislators who believe this is an important issue and want to continue working on it, and I assure you it will very likely be filed as a bill for next year," says Cady. "Governor Mike Parson [R-Missouri] supports right-to-work and wants to see Missouri a right-to-work state as well."
Parson's predecessor, Republican Governor Eric Greitens, signed the right-to-work bill into law in 2017. He resigned in May of this year for unrelated reasons. Regardless, Patrick Ishmael, director of government accountability for the Missouri-based Show-Me Institute, says right-to-work is an important issue, not only for individuals but for the economy in general.
"Missouri is at a disadvantage regionally," Ishmael explains. "Every state that borders us, with the exception of Illinois, is a right-to-work state right now, so this is an issue that I think will have to be addressed soon."
Meanwhile, economist Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) thinks this may viewed as insignificant. "I think [Tuesday's loss is] going to be somewhat of a blip on the radar because of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME – and the movement towards so many states in support of right-to-work continues to move forward."
OneNewsNow phoned Missouri AFL-CIO for comment and was told someone would be in touch. OneNewsNow did not receive a response by press time.