A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains how the people of Missouri would greatly benefit from becoming a right to work state. This week, the state legislature is expected to vote on whether to override the governor’s veto of that plan.
“In states where people have choice over whether to join a labor union or not, economic growth and personal income are demonstrably higher,” said Trey Kovacs, CEI policy analyst and author of the new report, Why Right to Work is Right for Missouri: Law Protects Worker Choice, Grows Economy and Holds Unions Accountable.
“Right to work laws also make unions more accountable to the needs of their members,” Kovacs added. “Missourians deserve the right to decide for themselves whether labor unions are meeting their needs.”
Over a three decade period, from 1977-2012, Missouri’s estimated per capita income loss associated with not having a right-to-work (RTW) law was $3,040, according to data first presented in a 2014 CEI report. Altogether, Missouri’s total estimated income loss from not having a RTW law was over $18.3 billion.
Kovacs also notes that people overwhelmingly support RTW laws. For example, a 2014 poll conducted by National Employee Freedom Week asked: “Should employees have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union?” In Missouri, 79.28 percent of participants answered yes.
Under current law in Missouri and 24 other states, private sector workers can be compelled to pay union dues or else lose their job. Becoming a RTW state would change that law to give people more choice over union representation and union dues.