Government & Politics

Voters deciding whether Missouri will be right-to-work state

This is an early version of The Star’s coverage on Proposition A during election night, Tuesday, Aug. 7. Read the final result here.

Supporters of right to work in Missouri appear to be in for a long night.

With 54 percent of precincts reporting, Missouri voters are rejecting a right-to-work law, 63 percent to 37 percent. Many votes had not been reported from the Democratic strongholds of St. Louis and Kansas City.

In right-to-work states, such as Kansas, employees in unionized workplaces can opt out of paying unions for the cost of being represented.

Republicans have been trying to enact a right-to-work law in Missouri for 40 years. They succeeded last year, when former Gov. Eric Greitens signed the law into effect.

Unions responded by collected 300,000 signatures to put the issue on the 2018 ballot, then spent $16 million to convince voters to reject it.

The campaign has garnered widespread attention, as unions hope defeating right to work in a conservative, Midwestern state will derail efforts to enact anti-labor legislation in other states or at the national level.

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