With Missouri Republicans gearing up to vote on a veto override Wednesday to ban mandatory union dues, six of their union-backed colleagues are all who stand in their way.
House Bill 116 was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon back in June. The measure would have outlawed mandatory union dues or fees in the state. With seven Republicans opposed to the bill, it is unlikely supporters will be able to override the veto. All but one of the Republicans opposed are heavily endorsed by organized labor.
“All but one received significant support from unions and all representative districts have a union presence,” the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) noted in an article. “These representatives need to put their own interests to the side and vote to give their citizens’ the freedom they deserve.”
The policy, also known as right-to-work, is usually opposed by unions. The union funded Republican opposition includes Kathie Conway, Kevin Corlew, Bart Korman, Becky Ruth, Linda Black and Chrissy Sommer. Rep. Bill Kidd is the only Republican expected to vote against the override that does not receive support from labor unions.
The contributors listed include the Teamsters Local 688, the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA), Missouri AFL-CIO, Boilermakers Local 27 and the local chapter of the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters among others.
“Missouri unions are working against job creators and those who would spur the state’s economy by fighting right to work as part of a far left, liberal agenda that supports groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club,” Jeff Bechdel, of Missouri Rising, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “On both counts, these unions are working against what’s best for Missourians.”
Missouri Rising, a nonprofit affiliate of the Republican super PAC, American Rising, also released a video. The video criticized Missouri union bosses for attempting to block the measure.
CWF found each Republican opposed has received several thousand dollars in union contributions. Some much higher. According to National Institute on Money in State Politics, Ruth has received $10,328 from various public sector unions, Black has accepted over $20,000 from general trade unions alone and Sommer has received over $11,000.
“Our endorsements are based on their views of educational issues,” Mike Wood, director of governmental relations for MSTA, told TheDCNF. “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”
Wood also noted MSTA isn’t technically a union. As an association they engage in union activities like collective bargaining but have a wider scope of responsibilities. MSTA has, he argued, contributed to those lawmakers that share a similar view on education. Meaning policies like right-to-work aren’t a factor.
The Boilermakers also noted it’s about which lawmakers they already share common ground with. A representative for the union told TheDCNF it doesn’t donate to influence lawmakers.
Nixon has also been under suspicion for union contributions as well. A week after the veto, the governor received a $50,000 campaign contribution from the United Automobile Workers (UAW). Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has since urged Nixon to return the money. Nixon has defended his decision to veto the measure, arguing the policy is bad for workers.
“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,” Nixon declared in a statement from June. “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.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), however, has stated in a recent report the policy will benefit state residents. The report, titled, “Why Right to Work is Right for Missouri” estimated potential income loss associated with the state not having the policy between 1977 and 2012.
“In states where people have choice over whether to join a labor union or not, economic growth and personal income are demonstrably higher,” Trey Kovacs, a policy analyst for CEI, noted in a statement. “Missourians deserve the right to decide for themselves whether labor unions are meeting their needs.”
The seven Republicans opposed to the measure did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
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