Missouri has only an outside chance of becoming a right-to-work state and ending the payment of union dues as a condition of employment, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce's president and CEO says.
Dan Mehan said Republicans' super-majorities in the state House and Senate do not make approval automatic because some urban Republicans might not support the plan.
Mehan said that could include the vicinities of General Motors' Wentzville Assembly Plant at St. Charles, north of St. Louis, and Ford's Claycomo Assembly Plant northeast of Kansas City. "Michigan has passed it and Wisconsin passed right-to-work for public employees over teachers' not coming to the table," he said.
"It's in effect in Wisconsin and the law Indiana passed last year is in effect."
Contending Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon "will feel some pressure" not to veto it now that Michigan has approved it, Mehan said, "Because of the nature of their districts, some Missouri Republicans just aren't that supportive.
"It will be a tough slog," he said, raising the possibility that the House and Senate might pass it but fail to override a veto. "It has always been on our agenda, but we know how difficult it will be."
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2010 that the Show-Me State had 244,000 union members, or 9.9 percent of the wage and salary workers in the state.
Mehan said last Tuesday from Jefferson City that states enacting such laws "have seen a 37 percent uptick in plants' expansions and inquiries for locations."
In a news release announcing the Chamber's support, he had said it "is common knowledge that many site selectors and economic development consultants won't even consider locating businesses in a state that is not right to work.
"Our members believe the policy could open the door to businesses moving to Missouri as well as help keep vital companies in our state and encourage re-hiring and hiring," he said.
Efforts to contact United Auto Workers spokesmen in Jefferson City, Detroit and Washington were unsuccessful.