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Missouri Right-To-Work Bill Dies With Veto

A Missouri bill designed to end forced unionization was vetoed Thursday by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who warned it will hurt workers.

“For generations, the ability of workers to join together and bargain collectively for fair wages and benefits has formed the foundation of the American middle-class,” Nixon declared in a statement. Local 249 of the United Autoworkers (UAW) joined the governor during the veto.

“This extreme measure would take our state backward, squeeze the middle-class, lower wages for Missouri families, and subject businesses to criminal and unlimited civil liability,” he continued. “Right-to-Work is wrong for Missouri, it’s wrong for the middle-class – and it must never become the law of the Show-Me State.”

Missouri House Bill 116 was signed by the House Speaker John Diehl and the Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, both Republicans, in late May before being sent to the governor, despite misleading claims by opponents that the bill prevents people from joining a union. The policy, which has passed in 25 states, outlaws mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

“In addition to denying employers the skilled workforce they need to compete, this bill represents exactly the kind of big-government overreach that proponents of this bill say they’re against,” Nixon also noted. “Under House Bill 116, state government would come in with a heavy-handed new mandate on employers.”

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, expressed uttered disappointment with the veto.

“The hardworking men and women of the Show Me State deserve better than Governor Nixon’s veto of the Missouri Right to Work Bill,” Mix said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Under a Right to Work law, every Missourian would be free to join and pay dues to a union, but none could be forced to do so under the threat of losing their job.”

“Today’s veto puts the Governor squarely on the side of forced unionism, and against employee free choice,” he continued. “Flanked by union bosses, Gov. Nixon ignored and rejected the will of an overwhelming majority of Missouri citizens who favor Right to Work.”

Mix noted the committee will continue to fight to get the policy implemented in the state.

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