Republican law limiting labor powers defeated in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican effort to enact new laws limiting union power has hit a wall in Missouri.

A state right-to-work law against compulsory union fees was rejected by Missouri voters Tuesday by a 2-to-1 margin. The referendum results effectively vetoed a law that Missouri’s Republican governor signed in 2017 but was put on hold after unions petitioned for a statewide vote.

Since 2012, five other once historically strong union states had adopted right-to-work laws as Republicans gained strength in state capitols. That raised the total to 27 states with such laws.

The Missouri referendum marked the first chance for voters to weigh in on union powers since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that public sector employees cannot be compelled to pay fees to unions.