Missouri House backs ‘right-to-work’ in construction trades

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri House is moving forward with a bill that bars construction workers from being required to pay union fees.

The House gave first-round approval Wednesday to the legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. Courtney Curtis, of Berkeley. He says unions in the building trades have not done enough to ensure equal opportunity for minorities.

Curtis, who is black, says building trade unions will be weakened and have to fight for the support of minority workers if his right-to-work legislation passes. Another vote is needed in the House to send it to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Karla May, of St. Louis, says the bill will not solve racism in Missouri but will negatively affect workers.

The House may also debate a separate right-to-work bill that would apply to all businesses.

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