“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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For NH Workers Facing Impending “Right to Work” Fight, Solidarity Has Never Been More Important

 

 

Brothers & Sisters,

 

As we begin the process of swearing in the winners of November’s election, I know that many of us feel discouraged and tired. Members across New England dedicated thousands of hours of their time to advocate for the election of leaders that would stand up for New Hampshire working families. In an election year where the entire country experienced a wave of GOP wins on the state and federal level, New Hampshire once again defied the norm and will be sending an all female Democratic delegation to Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, despite your tireless effort put into our Labor 2016 election campaign, we are faced with a New Hampshire Republican Party control of our legislature and the Governor’s Office. Although many of us are tired from a hard fought and seemingly endless campaign, we must stay active. We must stay engaged. And most of all, we must stay united. 

Governor-elect Sununu has already publicly stated (more than once) that Right to Work legislation is at the top of his agenda. Make no mistake, unless we come together and fight, New Hampshire will be a Right to Work state. Despite the misleading name, so-called “Right to Work” laws do not guarantee anyone a job and do not protect workers’ rights. Right to Work laws prohibit trade unions from collecting fees to cover the cost of contract administration from employees who benefit from the protections of a collective bargaining agreement, but do not join the union. There are different versions of Right to Work legislation, but all Right to Work laws are designed to limit the power of labor unions, and the workers they represent, to negotiate for better pay and working conditions. While supporters typically claim that Right to Work laws are necessary to attract new businesses and increase employment opportunities, rigorous economic studies have failed to validate such claims.

The labor community in the Granite State has an obligation to the rest of New Hampshire working families to fight Right to Work legislation using all of the resources and allies we can organize. And we cannot afford to wait until the new legislative session starts and the Governor-elect becomes Governor. We must start to lay the plans for our opposition today!

As Governor, Chris Sununu will not only have the help of a Republican controlled legislature, but also the help of dark money Super PACs such as those funded by the Koch Brothers and other conservative millionaires. Well-funded Right to Work proponents like the National Right to Work Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity will be spending millions of dollars to push an anti-labor agenda.

We all have connections to different allies and a wide variety of resources. The only way that New Hampshire will not become a Right to Work state is if we use our numbers and our voices to stand together, and stand up for New Hampshire working families.

Start talking to your colleagues, fellow members, family members, and friends about what we can do to protect New Hampshire workers and their families from the attacks that are sure to come this legislative session.

The New Hampshire AFL-CIO will stand with its fellow brothers and sisters in the rain, sleet, and snow to protect New Hampshire workers and their future. Let’s get to work!

 

For more information on Right to Work click here.

 

For more information on upcoming events regarding organizing our opposition to anti-union attacks, please continue to check our website or email araff@nhaflcio.org

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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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NH AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett Testifies In Opposition To HB 1341, Another Version of “Right To Work” Legislation

 

Yesterday New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett stood with numerous members of the New Hampshire labor community in opposition to HB 1341, a bill relative to employee payments to unions. HB 1341 is another attempt by the anti-union wing of the New Hampshire legislature to undermine the existence of organized labor in the Granite State. Below is an excerpt from President Brackett’s testimony:

“House Bill 1341 would establish a statutory right for all public and private sector workers, who are not union members but are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, to divert payment for the total amount of their union agency fees to a charity, for any personal reason, regardless of the negotiated terms of the agreement.

All New Hampshire employees covered under a collective bargaining contract already have a full legal right to redirect their union fees to charity based on legitimate religious objections. We are forced to conclude, therefore, that the true intent of House Bill 1341 is to weaken the collective voice of New Hampshire workers who benefit from representation by a labor union.”

House Bill 1341 is not a legitimate mechanism for increasing aid to charitable causes. To paraphrase William Shakespeare, so-called “right-to work” legislation called by any other name still smells like “right-to-work.” This bill, if passed, would allow those individuals that choose to have their union fees diverted to charity, to still take full advantage of the protections given by the union and collective bargaining agreement. The members that pay into their labor organization so that they can both protect and be protected in the workplace would be forced to shoulder the cost of those who opt out of the payments. This is not a fair burden to place on working families that already struggle to make ends meet and provide for their loved ones. 

 As New Hampshire
AFL-CIO President Brackett put it:

“House Bill 1341 offers no meaningful benefits to New Hampshire’s economy, workers or businesses. I urge members of the committee to vote this legislation ‘Inexpedient to Legislate.’”

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