‘Right-to-work’ defeated in New Hampshire

20 Republicans and all of the state’s Democrats voted to kill the bill

UNION MEMBERS RALLIED outside the NH Sportsplex in Bedford N.H. June 3 as legislators voted to defeat the latest effort to pass phony “right-to-work” in the state. – New Hampshire AFL-CIO-Shanna Weston 617MediaGroup photo

Bedford, N.H. — Despite a push from the Governor and out-of-state business interests, the New Hampshire House has resoundingly killed the latest attempt to pass phony so-called “right-to-work” in the Granite State.

The New Hampshire House voted 199-175 against the bill, with all Democrats and 20 members of the Republican majority voting to sink the bill. They then voted 196-178 to indefinitely postpone the bill, meaning the legislature cannot reconsider the bill until the next legislative session in 2023.

As legislators voted inside the NH Sportsplex in Bedford, union members from across the state rallied outside letting the legislators know they opposed the anti-union bill and the devastating consequences that come from the phony “right-to-work.” Studies show that workers in RTW states make $10,000 less thanks to these laws.

The New Hampshire results follow those of the Montana House, which is two-thirds Republican, and voted to reject RTW last month.

“The state House stood on the side of working families today by defeating the so-called ‘right-to-work’ bills,” said state Rep. Doug Ley (D-Jaffrey), president of the New Hampshire Federation of Teachers, who voted against the bill. “Workers deserve a seat at the table and should be able to speak up for decent wages and benefits, a retirement with dignity, and safe workplace conditions.

“Unions give workers an avenue to raise important issues with their employers and protect their right to negotiate these issues without government interference. They provide a path to a better life, and it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure unions are available to those who want to join,” Ley said.

The defeat of the bill was a huge loss for Republican Governor Chris Sununu, who promised it would be a top priority when he first took office in 2017. However, the bill was rejected in 2017 by the Republican-led House before Democrats regained control of the House in 2018. “Right-to-work” legislation has been routinely introduced in New Hampshire in nearly every session since the 1980s but has consistently failed to become law.

“For nearly 40 years, ‘right-to-work’ legislation has been pushed by out-of-state corporate interests in New Hampshire,” said Glenn Brackett, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, in an editorial published May 28 in the Portsmouth Herald. “And every year it’s been on the table, our lawmakers have shut it down. Why? Because they know what the Labor Movement has done for the Granite State.

“Our members go to work each and every day knowing that their union contracts allow them the top wages and benefits, with the knowledge that there are safety and protections on the job. And for them and their loved ones, that’s priceless.”

“‘Right-to-work’ is nothing more than a racist Jim Crow relic designed to divide workers and make us poorer,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. “We should not have to fear that big corporations and anti-worker politicians are going to pass this legislation in New Hampshire, or anywhere else. That’s why we need the PRO (Protect The Right To Organize) Act. It would eliminate ‘right-to-work,’ putting it in the ash heap of history where it belongs.”

(Information from UCOMM Blog and PAI union news service.)


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