Right to Work Ballot Issue - What Does it Mean?

SPRINGFIELD -- Soon voters will decide whether to make Missouri a "Right to Work" state.

Proposition A, which Missouri Voters will see on their ballots August 7th, is regarding "Right to Work".

A "Right to Work" state is one that allows workers to work a union job and reap the benefits, without having to be a member of a union or pay dues. 

Federal law says it is not mandatory to be in a union, and only 10 percent of the workforce is unionized. 

Missouri's former Governor Eric Greitens signed a law last year -- Senate Bill 19 -- making Missouri a right to work state, but people favoring unions gathered enough signatures to send the issue to the people. 

Jeff Phillips of Heavy Construction Laborers Local No. 663 explains why he thinks union workers could be in trouble if this passes. 

"A person can go to work for what has typically been a union company. They can receive the collectively bargained wages -- the excellent wages -- the union has helped bargain for, and the tremendous benefits the union has helped bargain for, and they can be protected in case of grievances by the union, but they won't have to pay dues," says Phillips. 

For Phillips, he says it's a fairness issue for union workers, many of whom's pensions hang in the balance. 

"It's going to have a dramatic effect on retirees whose pensions depend on union dues. We are not asking for anything different, we are happy with the way things are," Phillips says.  

Senator Bob Dixon of Springfield once voted to enact right to work laws, but he says people should educate themselves on the issue before voting August 7th. 

"For the most part I try to refrain from telling my constituents on how to vote on matters," says Dixon. 

He says the best place to start is the secretary of states website. You can find the ballot measure and read the language. 

"Fair ballot language explains what a yes is, and it explains what a no is. That is all part of being informed and being prepared to vote the 7th of August," says Dixon.  

A "yes" vote means that you are in favor of enacting right to work laws in the State of Missouri. 

A "no" vote means that you do not want right to work laws in the State of Missouri. 

The election is on August 7th. 

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