JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) — Paying union fees could no longer be a condition of employment in Missouri under a bill endorsed by a House committee.

The panel voted 7-3 Wednesday to adopt what supporters call “right-to-work” legislation.(HB77) Sponsoring Republican Rep. Eric Burlison, of Springfield, says the measure makes Missouri an attractive location for new businesses.

“This is the number one thing we can do,” said Rep. Burlison. “While it may be difficult, and may be controversial to some, to me if your are focused on job opportunities it’s a no brainer.

Opponents say the measure would weaken labor unions by forcing them to bargain for workers who would no longer be required to pay representation fees. Unions are required by federal law to represent all workers in a bargaining unit even if they are not members but are currently allowed to charge fees for collective bargaining.

Burlison says the bill doesn’t harm unions but instead protects the rights of workers to freely choose associations.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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