“Right to Work” Wrong for New Hampshire Working Families

What New Hampshire Working Families Should Know

About So-Called “Right to Work”

  • So-called “Right to Work” isn’t what it seems. It is a confusing, complicated and controversial proposal that is wrong for workers and their families.
  • Proponents of  “Right to Work”say that it will expand workplace freedom. “Right to Work” is political overreach at its worst. Politicians shouldn’t get between or interfere with agreements made between employers and their employees. Instead, politicians should respect those agreements and focus on real priorities like creating good jobs, investing in education, and lowering energy rates.
  • Under current state and federal law, no worker can be forced to join a union or to pay union dues. Moreover, it is illegal for union members to pressure non-union members to join.
  • So-called “Right to Work” legislation is not a job creation or economic development effort – it is specifically designed to weaken collective bargaining rights for working families. Over 60% of New Hampshire residents support workers’ rights to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and better working conditions.
  • The effort to make New Hampshire the next “Right to Work” state is politically motivated and largely driven by out-of-state corporate special interest groups like Americans for Prosperity and the National Right to Work Committee, and is not a result of problems facing Granite State businesses or workers.
  • There is a long history of bi-partisan opposition to passing “Right to Work” in New Hampshire. In 2012, over 40 Republican State Representatives joined Democrats in voting to uphold the Governor’s veto of “Right to Work.” In March 2015, bi-partisan opposition in the State Senate killed a so-called “Right to Work” bill in a floor vote.
  • Granite State business experts agree that so-called “Right to Work” legislation does not address the factors that are most important in business location descisions, and that it will not create quality jobs in New Hampshire (Sig Sauer is sending new jobs to Arkansas instead of New Hampshire because of the high cost of energy in our state, not a lack of “Right to Work” legislation).

The Facts

Lower Wages

  • On average workers in states with “Right to Work” laws earn $6,109 (12.1%) a year less than workers in other states ($44,401 comparted with $50,511).
  • Twelve of the fourteen states with the worst pay gap between men and women are “Right to Work” states.
  • Of the ten states with the lowest minimum wages, eight are “Right to Work” states.

Less Investment in Education

  • States with “Right to Work” laws spend 32.5% less per pupil on elementary and secondary education than other states.

Unions Improve Living Standards. “Right to Work” Laws Don’t

  • Overall, union members earn 26.3% ($204) more per week than non-union workers. Hispanic union members earn 47.1% ($276) more each week than non-union Hispanic workers and African Americans workers earn 29.7% more each week if they are union members.
  • Some 79% of union workers participate in job-provided health insurance, compared with 49% of non-union workers.
  • 75% of union workers participate in guarenteed (defined-benefit) retirement plans, compared to just 15% of non-union workers.

Higher Workplace Fatality Rates

  • The rate of workplace deaths is 49% higher in states with “Right to Work” laws, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

WANT TO FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR TO CONTACT THEM AND LET THEM KNOW THAT “RIGHT TO WORK” IS WRONG FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE WORKING FAMILIES? CLICK HERE!

For more information on “Right to Work” Click here 

 

 

 

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Join Fellow Labor Allies for the 2016 NH COSH Workers Memorial Day

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Please Join Our Fellow Labor Allies for the 2016 NH COSH  Workers Memorial Day Remembrance

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Annual Dinner and Memorial Presentation

This annual event honors New Hampshire workers who were killed on the job in 2015.

Buffet Dinner and Guest Speakers 

Location: Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall
161 Londonderry Turnpike
Hooksett, NH 03106
Time: 05:30 PM – 08:30 PM 
 
More information about this event, and NH COSH can be found by clicking here
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Air Traffic Control Privatization Creates Massive Risks

A Revenue-driven Model Would Endanger Safety and Eliminate Taxpayer Oversight

The United States has one of the most complex aviation systems in the world. The
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safely and efficiently manages over two million passengers and tons of cargo in the air every day.
New Hampshire’s 25 public use airports serve over 3,000 pilots and the air transportation needs of over 1.3 million New Hampshire residents, travelers, students and medical and military personnel.

A proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to privatize the FAA’s air traffic control (ATC) system and turn it into a not-for-profit corporation outside of the federal government. ATC privatization would eliminate congressional oversight and break up the FAA, putting our nation’s air traffic control system in the hands of private interests. This is especially worrisome, as the proposed ATC provider would not be accountable to Congress or taxpayers.

Privatizing a government function as critical as the management of our air traffic control system sets a dangerous precedent. The responsibility of managing the nation’s air traffic and the safety of its passengers should be guided by sound public policy, not the revenue-driven motives of a standalone corporation.

The proposed legislation carries worrisome risks for the people of New Hampshire and the backbone of the nation’s air traffic control system—the more than 15,000 air traffic controllers, engineers, safety inspectors and other employees that power it each day. In New England, the FAA maintains a large, diverse workforce of over 1,700 employees.[1] All of these workers power a system that safely and efficiently
moves more aircraft than any other country.

Of course the air traffic control system isn’t perfect and can be improved. But privatization will slow down technological progress and planned FAA upgrades, and may increase consumer costs. The measure will complicate the FAA’s focus on safety because goals of increasing revenue and reducing costs could be at odds with the FAA’s stringent safety mandate. 

General aviation supports nearly 800 jobs and contributes over $1 billion in annual economic impact to the State, according to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.[2] Changing air traffic control to a private, revenue-driven model will hurt general aviation and threaten good paying jobs and the working families who depend on them.

As a union representing thousands of FAA workers nationally, we know with certainty that privatization will eliminate essential workplace benefits and rights that we work hard to protect. Language included in the proposed legislation weakens labor laws and whistleblower protections for these employees and fails to guarantee that every collective bargaining agreement will have a grievance process, basically eliminating the means for employees to resolve workplace issues and protect their rights.

If privatization goes forward, employees performing the same job will have different pay and different benefits. This will decrease morale and make it difficult for the organization to attract and retain skilled and dedicated employees. This is especially serious considering that one-third of air traffic controllers are eligible to retire in the next few years. Over 1,000 have left the agency in the last year alone.

New Englanders fly 80 percent more frequently than the national average.[3] For people in New Hampshire, our air transportation system is essential to a strong economy that helps working families. Air travel powers commerce, fuels tourism and brings us closer to our families and friends.

Threats to workers’ rights, our safety and our economy demonstrate that there is too much at stake to justify the privatization of our air traffic control system. The FAA must remain a cohesive unit of federal employees, not a private business focused on revenue and costs.

Frank Moroney

Executive Director,
AFSCME Council 93

AFSCME International
Vice President

Frank Moroney is an AFSCME International Vice President and the Executive Director of AFSCME Council 93, which represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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West Virginia’s GOP Controlled Legislature Passes “Right To Work” Legislation

This week, West Virginia’s Republican controlled legislature passed “right to work” legislation and repealed the state’s prevailing wage regulations for government projects in West Virginia. Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, immediately vetoed both legislative actions, only to be rebuked, and have his veto overturned with a simple majority, voting 18-16 in the Senate and 55-43 in
the House along party lines.

West Virginia now joins the other 25 states that have chosen to favor big business and special interest over the needs of American working families. The passage of the “Establishing West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act” is a direct result of the Republicans taking back the West Virginia House of Representatives for the first time in almost a century. This is a terrible set back for workers across the country, but especially troublesome because of West Virginia’s remarkable labor legacy. 

The message is clear. There are those in state legislatures
across our country that are on a mission to chip away at the rights that
organized labor and workers everywhere have fought arduously to establish and
protect.

It should be no surprise that the Koch Brothers backed group, Americans for Prosperity heavily promoted the West Virginia “right to work” bill. They continue to fund anti-labor actions in New Hampshire, but to this point have been unsuccessful. 

If it can happen in a state like West Virginia, a state that was built on the back of labor; it can happen anywhere. New Hampshire families are working everyday to support their loved ones and make ends meet. “Right to work” bills like the New Hampshire legislatures, HB 1341, seek to make those things more difficult to achieve.

This battle in West Virginia highlights how important it is to exercise your right to vote and be involved in our democratic process. Electing representatives that will stand up for working families and workers’ rights ensures that your interests are always represented in Concord. 

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