JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation to balance collective bargaining for state employees has stirred the right to work discussion in some of the formerly least likely states, such as Michigan and Ohio. But with lawmakers elected that aren't beholding to state employee unions, and concerned about unpaid pension obligations suffocating any other use of the state's tax revenue, more and more are understanding that teacher's unions, SEIU and AFSCME local union reps just aren't as powerful as they once were.
Illinois is just south of Wisconsin, where the fight first broke out in 2011, and west of Indiana, where unions are losing power as well. The next state that's energized to begin chipping away at union bondage is the state to Illinois' west - Missouri. The legislation has already been pre-filed, and the right-to-work movement may be facing its biggest challenge to date.
“Right now Missouri is a union shop state where employees of businesses with collective bargaining agreements are forced to pay union dues after a certain period in order to maintain employment. Union members have no choice in the matter and no say in how their dues or utilized,” State Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) said in a statement last week when he prefiled his proposal.
“My legislation would institute the level of workplace fairness and equity that employees deserve. It would ensure workers can maintain their employment even if they choose not to join a union.”
Missouri's House Speaker doesn't think the legislation will progress too far, as Missouri now has a Democrat governor that's been supported by unions.