Take a drive through just about any neighborhood and it's clear, Right-to-Work is on the minds of Missourians. It's an issue that affects thousands of people in the state from construction workers to teachers, people right here at 5 On Your Side and many more.
So, just what is Right-to-Work?
“Right-to-work is really a pro-management or pro-business type of legislation. What Right-to-Work actually causes is employees not to be forced to pay union dues,” said political analyst, Ken Warren.
He's made a 40-year career researching American politics and he's a political science professor at St. Louis University.
We wanted his expertise, so we showed him a flier one of our employees got in the mail. The front features a working-class-looking man with the phrase "I work hard to support my family.” The back goes into detail about why Right-to-Work is supposedly so important.
“Look at their main slogan here, 'Right-to-Work ensures that my union keeps working hard to support me.' Well, there's no real truth in that at all,” he said. “What really gives unions the strength is the compelling of members to pay dues and not allow free-riders. So, if voters vote in Right-to-Work they're going to be weakening unions. I would say that's very objective to say that.”
Warren says misleading ads are common before elections. And as for the claims on the one we showed him?
“Well, it's clearly false,” he said.
The group Americans for Prosperity is behind the flier. A spokesman sent 5 On Your Side a statement from Missouri State Director, Jeremy Cady, that reads:
“Right-to-work will make unions more accountable to their members. Instead of unions relying on workers being forced to pay them, unions under right-to-work will have to provide meaningful value to retain their members and funding or shut down. Workers shouldn’t be forced to use their hard-earned money to fund a union if they feel it's failing to deliver.”