Senator Lou D’Allesandro has always stood with New Hampshire working families. His words on the Senate floor regarding the Senate Commerce Committee’s decision to immediately vote to pass SB11-FN (so-called “Right-to-Work”) out of committee before reading or researching any of the submitted testimony show that he understands the importance of unions to a prosperous middle class in the Granite State. Sadly a majority of his fellow Senators don’t care about good wages and benefits for the working class and passed the bill 12-11.
The New Hampshire AFL-CIO would like to thank those Senators who voted to defeat the fraudulently-labeled “Right-to-Work” bill in the Senate.
We will need your assistance, voice, and leadership to defeat this in the House of Representatives.
Last week hundreds of you came to our side and helped us amplify the voice of all New Hampshire working families as we told our Legislators that we will not stand for fraudulently-labeled “Right-to-Work” laws in the Granite State. Despite heartfelt testimony and statistical evidence presented by many who gave attended, three of the five members of the Senate Commerce Committee voted to to pass SB11-FN. This means that the entire New Hampshire State Senate will vote on this so-called “Right-to-Work” law this THURSDAY, JANUARY 19TH AT 10:00 AM at the New Hampshire State House. We will be gathering together to hand out signs and information starting at 9:00 AM (before the State Senate session).
The Economic Policy Institute has published a New Hampshire update that discredits claims that so-called “Right to Work” will benefit the state’s economy, based on comparing the results of passing fraudulently-labeled “Right To Work” in Indiana in 2012. The analysis shows that New Hampshire’s economy is stronger, unemployment is lower and the rate of job growth in New Hampshire has matched job growth in Indiana since the state enacted the law. This is just more evidence that New Hampshire doesn’t need theft by deception legislation like “Right to Work,” to succeed. Many New Hampshire working families are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, and so-called “Right to Work” will do nothing but make their lives even more difficult.
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).
- 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.
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.
Today is “Giving Tuesday” and your chance to help your fellow union members and their families, while teaching students about the importance of the Labor Movement. There is no better way to give this Tuesday. You know that Sister Horan would!
Contributions to the NH AFL-CIO Linda Horan Scholarship Fund are tax deductible and checks should be made out to:
NH AFL-CIO EAP Services
Please write “Linda Horan Scholarship Fund” in the memo line of your check.
As the scholarship fund grows through member donations, we hope to increase the amount and the number of scholarships we are able to award. Contributions to the Scholarship Fund will allow the NH AFL-CIO to assist in shaping the future by providing educational opportunities for eligible scholarship applicants. Through your contribution to NH AFL-CIO EAP Services, you will be advancing the educational opportunities of our future leaders by assisting them to pursue higher education, while at the same time, honoring our beloved labor warrior, Sister Linda Horan.
After a little over 11-months of bargaining, including 45-days on strike, CWA, IBEW and Verizon have finally reached a tentative agreement on the terms and conditions of employment for 39,000 bargaining unit members at Verizon. This agreement provides for the creation of additional jobs, keeps job security intact, addresses workplace overtime issues, increases in healthcare and provides for increases in wages and pensions.
This is a victory for working families across America. CWA and IBEW members stood in solidarity with union allies at picket lines in the rain, sun and snow. The mantra “One day longer, one day stronger,” was in the forefront of the minds of all of those that helped Verizon workers stand strong for 45 days. We showed what labor can accomplish when we stand together. The strength we exhibited resulted in Verizon’s promise to add 1,300 new east caost call center jobs, a $1250.00 signing bonus in the Mid Atlantic and a $1000.00 signing bonus plus a $250.00 healthcare reimbursement account in the Northeast, $2800.00 minimum in profit sharing, and a first contract for Verizon Wirelress retail store employees in Brooklyn, New York and Everett, Massachusetts.
In addition to these contract victories, Verizon withdrew some of its proposed cuts to employee benefits. All proposed reductions of pensions by Verizon were withdrawn, there will be three 1% increases in the defined benefit pensions over the life of the agreement. Verizon also withdrew proposed cuts in accident and disability benefits.
The success of this strike can be attributed to the unwavering strength we all exhibited over the past several months. The hard work of members, their families and union allies are the reason that IBEW and CWA members return to work today with a more secure future. As we move forward, we must remember what we can accomplish when we stand together. This won’t be the last time that wealthy corporate interests try to undermine the future and success of working families, and we will be ready to stand together again, united.
For more information on the tentative agreement click here.
Brothers and Sisters, we ask you to join us this THURSDAY, MAY 5 AT 9:30 AM AT Verizon Wireless, 1111 South Willow Street, Manchester, New Hampshire, as we stand in solidarity with members of the CWA and IBEW to fight for good jobs and protect the rights of working Americans. This demonstration is part of a National Day of Action, where thousands of members and allies of labor organizations will stand up for Verizon workers across the United States.
40,000 men and women are still on strike at Verizon and Verizon Wireless determined to fight for as long as it takes to protect good, respectable jobs. This strike is bigger than Verizon. It’s about protecting good, hometown jobs in this country. It’s about securing a brighter future for our families and our communities. It’s about standing up to a handful of rich and powerful interests to make sure the needs of working families are met.
That's why it's so important for all of us to stand with the working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless, and that's why we need you to stand with us this THURSDAY, MAY 5 AT 9:30 AM AT Verizon Wireless, 1111 South Willow Street, Manchester New Hampshire. Please spread the word and help us protect American working families.
For more information on other demonstrations taking place on this National Day of Action, please click here.