‘Right to Work’ debate on tap

Missouri’s Senate floor leader last week said the chamber “probably will spend some time” debating the controversial “Right to Work” proposal “before Spring Break.”

Right to Work laws now exist in 22 states, primarily across the South and the Plains and Mountain regions — including six of the eight states bordering Missouri.

On its website, www.nrtw.org, the National Right to Work Foundation defines a Right to Work law as “securing the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union.”

Unions, on the other hand, say federal law requires them to represent all employees in a defined workplace unit, whether they belong to a union or not — so, they say, Right to Work laws just create a class of “freeloaders” for anyone who chooses not to join a union.

And, they say, the laws also take away an employer’s right to decide if he or she wants the benefits offered by a contract that requires union membership — and the training that often goes with it.

Only two weeks remain before lawmakers take their one-week break.

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