Under federal law, unions must represent all workers when engaged in collective bargaining or providing services, such as legal representation following unfair dismissal. A majority of states allow unionized workplaces to collect dues from all new employees as a condition of employment, but this majority may become an even split. Missouri legislators have been recently considering right-to-work legislation that would prohibit mandatory collection of dues.Supporters of the bill put forth two central arguments. They argued that the choice of whether to, in the form of union dues, buy a particular service or not falls under the rubric of employee rights. At least one lawmaker suggested that several businesses have chosen not to locate in Missouri due to lack of right-to-work legislation.
Missouri lawmakers continue to keep employee rights as the topic of the day as opinions differ in the push to make Missouri a "right to work" state. Right to work laws are allowed under the federal 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. Right to work laws regulate or prohibit agreements made between employers and labor unions that would condition employment on worker participation in the union or require union dues or fees.