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.’”