For Immediate Release: February 16, 2017
Contact: Alan Raff, (603) 714-0258
New Hampshire AFL-CIO Reacts to House Vote on “Right to Work”
Concord – Following the House vote on so-called “Right to Work” today, Glenn Brackett, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO made the following statement:
“Today a bi-partisan majority confirmed that ‘Right to Work’ is still wrong for New Hampshire, and this vote should be the final nail in the coffin. Across the Granite State, working people stood together against this corporate-backed legislation that would cripple our ability to speak up on job. We thank the legislators who let workers’ voices rise above special interests’.”
Jim Roche, President of the NH Business and Industry Association admits that so-called “Right-to-Work” is really about destroying unions. Tell you legislator to oppose Right to Work! http://bit.ly/NHrtw
Glenn Brackett, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO: “The New Hampshire AFL-CIO was proud to stand with hundreds of working people across the state who are fighting to protect their rights at work. This legislation is an attack on working families by out-of-state special interests seeking to lower wages for everyone and undermine worker protections. The proponents of this legislation are playing politics with the future of our workforce, and New Hampshire working families deserve better.”
Richard Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local Union 1984: “So-called right to work has no place in the Granite State, and I’m proud we were able to pack this hall today with those who agree. Both of these bills are tired, recycled legislation that does nothing for the real problems facing our state. We need the House to reject these bills so we can get down to working together on legislation that helps – not hurts – New Hampshire families.”
Sarah Hirsch, President of the University of New Hampshire Lecturers Union: “The families of New Hampshire want the college students to be solidly prepared and ready to enter good careers. To do this, the faculty who teach and mentor them need to be protected, have job stability and security, good benefits, and a say in their working conditions! Weakening unions ultimately weakens higher education, undercutting the development of a skilled workforce for New Hampshire at a time when we need more competitive workers in the state.”
Frank Moroney, Executive Director AFSCME Council 93: “It’s a powerful statement that a majority of legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, voted against so-called “Right to Work” today. They stood together because they know protecting our right to speak up together on the job shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Right to Work would hurt working families across the Granite State, and we’ll continue to fight against this legislation as it moves to the House floor.”
Dennis Caza, President of Teamsters Local Union 633: “Today, hundreds of our brothers and sisters stood in Solidarity to defend the rights of New Hampshire’s workers. We hope that we have sent a message to the legislature that so-called “Right-to-Work” is not the solution that New Hampshire working families need. In the coming days, we urge workers in every industry across the state to contact their legislators and let them know that this so-called “Right-to-Work” legislation is wrong for New Hampshire.”
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.
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.