When Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens signed “right-to-work” legislation into law on February 6, 2017, the Show-Me State was on the way to becoming the 28th state to prohibit unions and employers from requiring any employee to be a union member, or pay any dues or like amounts, as a condition of continued employment. Now, the fate of the legislation will be put before voters in November.
Just 10 days before the law’s August 28, 2017, effective date, labor union activists delivered several hundred thousand signatures in support of a referendum to put the legislation to a public vote. The referendum asks whether the people of Missouri wish to adopt the legislation, with a “yes” vote being in favor of the right-to-work law’s continued existence. A copy of the right-to-work referendum can be found here.
Although the Secretary of State reportedly rejected approximately 20 percent of the 310,567 signatures submitted by labor union supporters, the nearly 250,000 signatures remaining were more than twice the 108,467 needed to put the issue to a vote. On November 22, 2017, the Secretary of State certified that the referendum has sufficient support.
Now that the referendum has been certified by the Secretary of State, the right-to-work law passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Greitens remains on hold pending the results of the vote. Currently, the referendum is set to be on the ballot during the November 2018 mid-term elections, but the legislature could schedule a different day in 2018 for the referendum vote.
Regardless, along with a highly anticipated 2018 mid-term election, the people of Missouri will determine whether Missouri becomes the 28th right-to-work state.