Missouri Legislature adds new public union rules

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill requiring public employee unions to get annual permission from workers to withhold dues from paychecks.

The proposal, narrowly approved by the House Thursday on a 87-62 vote, also requires that public unions pay to hold recertification elections every three years, elections that would require the support of more than half of all employees.

It also mandates that public labor agreements make picketing a fireable offense.

The bill would not apply to police officers, firefighters, corrections workers and other public emergency personnel.

Proponents say the rules would improve public unions’ accountability. Opponents say the measure could gut unions’ ability to bargain for higher wages.

The bill next heads to the governor.