Missouri's collective bargaining debate begins on the Senate floor
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Missouri's collective bargaining debate begins on the Senate floor

Date: March 14, 2011
By: Jamie Hausman
State Capitol Bureau

Rowdy union members packed the Senate gallery for debate on their collective bargaining rights.
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Wrap: Union members filled the chamber gallery, occasionally earning a reprimand from the president pro tem.

Senators debated a measure that would change the collective bargaining rights for Missouri workers on Monday.

The bill would prohibit employers from requiring their workers to join a union or pay union fees.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Luann Ridgeway, says "right to work" would give employees a chance to decide if they're being represented fairly by a union.

Proponents said passing the bill would be the single most important thing to bring jobs to Missouri.

Democratic Minority Leader Victor Callahan said the bill weakens the collective voice and power of workers across the state.

The bill is awaiting amendments and will hit the floor again at the end of March.

From Jefferson City, I'm Jamie Hausman.

State senators debated "right to work" and the collective bargaining rights of Missouri union workers.
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Wrap: The Democratic Minority Leader Victor Callahan voiced his concern for limiting workers' collective bargaining powers.

He says with unions, the power of one becomes the power of many.

Others, however, disagree.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Luann Ridgeway, says that bringing "right to work" to the state would encourage business to flourish in Missouri.

She says she thinks it would lower the state's unemployment rate and give Missouri an edge over border states.

The senate did not take action on the bill, but will vote on it at the end of the month.

From Jefferson City, I'm Jamie Hausman.


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