Some St. Louis business leaders oppose Missouri right-to-work bill while state group backs it

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JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — Some St. Louis area business executives are breaking ranks with the state's largest business organizations and speaking out against a Missouri bill that would bar mandatory union fees.

A Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on right-to-work legislation that would prohibit union contracts from requiring fees from non-members.

Many business groups, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, support the measure. They say it would make Missouri more attractive to businesses.

But a few business executives from the St. Louis testified that it could lead to a lack of trained workers. Emily Martin, who is president of Aschinger Electric Co., says businesses sometimes agree to such contracts because they believe there are benefits from collective bargaining, including union training programs.

A similar right-to-work measure already has passed the Missouri House.

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