by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – When it comes to jobs and your paycheck, what happens in the State Capitol could impact you. Business groups and organized labor are already hard at work trying to influence lawmakers in the Legislative Session that is just days underway.
Associated Industries of Missouri President Ray McCarty wants state lawmakers to work on ways to push back against Washington DC lawmakers and bureaucracies, especially when it comes to new ozone and carbon emissions regulations that he believes will harm Missouri’s economy. Among his concerns is that new regulations will increase the cost of power and regulations that could limit the ability of business to expand in certain areas if emissions are deemed too high regionally.
Another proposal that’s likely to make headlines this year isn’t new but may have new life because of an increased number of Republicans in both legislative chambers. McCarty sees that as an opportunity to pass a so-called “Right To Work” law, which would outlaw the practice of requiring union membership for employment.
Joe Mueller is a business agent with the AFL-CIO affiliated Painters and Tapers Union. He says it’s obvious that organized labor has an uphill battle in this year’s political environment but says that won’t stop unions and union supporters from continuing to fight the idea.
To keep a “Right To Work” law off the books, organized labor will have to gain the support of several Republicans. The GOP has a larger veto-proof majority in 2015 than they had in 2014, when Republicans overrode a record number of vetoes. Still, the idea has been proposed in previous years but Missouri is still not a “Right To Work” state.
McCarty and other supporters of “Right To Work” laws say it’s about employer and employee choice and would help the state by attracting more businesses. Mueller and other opponents of the idea say it’s union busting and would harm the state’s economy by reducing take-home pay for workers.
On the web:
Associated Industries of Missouri: www.AIMO.com
Painters and Tapers Union – Missouri: http://www.iupat.org/pages/about/contact-us/MO