JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri General Assembly last week approved legislation tightening restrictions on public-sector labor unions.
Under the proposal, House Bill 1413, government employees must annually authorize paycheck withholdings for union dues. Additionally, public-sector unions would need prior authorization before using a member’s dues to fund political activity.
Proponents of the measure say it will hold public-sector unions more accountable to their members.
“This is a common-sense labor reform bill to make unions — government unions, specifically — more accountable,” said Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis. “I think it’s a big victory for the state of Missouri.”
The bill’s opponents, however, say it will hinder the ability of unions to bargain in employees’ favor.
“I just wonder, at what point do we get to where we’ll say ‘enough is enough,'” said Sen. Jacob Hummel, D-St. Louis, who serves as secretary-treasurer for the Missouri AFL-CIO. “All of the power doesn’t need to be on one side of the bargaining table.”
House Bill 1413 awaits consideration from Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who is expected to sign it into law.