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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The first bill being considered by a Missouri House committee this year would prohibit the payment of union fees from being a condition of employment.

The House workplace development committee opened a hearing Monday on legislation, known as "right to work."

Supporters argue the measure would boost the state's competiveness in manufacturing. But St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay testified against the legislation and countered that assertion.

Slay says Missouri's labor laws weren't a factor in Boeing's decision to pass up more than $3 billion in incentives to keep production of its 777X plane in Washington.

The issue is a top priority for Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka, but Senate leaders haven't been as optimistic about it passing this year.

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Right to work is HB1099

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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