Union tactic may delay Missouri's 'right to work' law

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Richard Trumka
Richard Trumka

The Missouri AFL-CIO plans to present about 300,000 petition signatures to the secretary of state's office on Friday. The move is part of an effort to delay implementation of the state's new “right to work” law.

The GOP-controlled Missouri legislature moved quickly this spring to pass legislation that would negate mandatory union dues.

A quirk in the state's law, however, lets opponents collect petition signatures to block legislation and set up a referendum. Union activists have done exactly that, obtaining about three times the requisite total. Union groups are insisting the measure be added as a ballot question next year.

A related battle has erupted between pro-business and pro-labor groups over the referendum's wording. Business groups are asking the state's highest court to intervene.

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