WSJ Editorial: The ‘Right-to-Work’ Rout

Labor News

Former Governor Eric Greitens signs legislation to make Missouri the 28th "right-to-work" state in Springfield, Missouri, February 6, 2017. PHOTO: NATHAN PAPES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by its Editorial Board on August 8, 2018.

Big spending paid off for Big Labor on Tuesday as Missouri voters rejected right-to-work legislation by an overwhelming 2 to 1. Compulsory dues will help offset the unions’ $27 million investment in political coercion.

In 2016 unions spent some $12 million to support a Missouri Democratic gubernatorial candidate who vowed to veto right-to-work legislation that lets workers decide if they want to join a union. That effort failed, and then- Governor Eric Greitens signed it into law his first month in office.

But under Missouri’s constitution, petitioners have 90 days after a legislative session to gather signatures for a voter referendum that can override new laws. Unions got three times as many signatures as they needed to put the referendum on the ballot, and they spent more than $15 million campaigning for Tuesday’s right-to-work repeal. That’s nearly five times what proponents of the law spent. …

WSJ editorial 8/8

About Jeffrey Burman 3200 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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