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New Hampshire Labor Committee Passes Slew of Union-Busting Bills

Date: February 22, 2012
Type: Media Article

Source: AFL-CIO
Author: Nora Frederickson

At a time when the tea party-driven Republican agenda in New Hampshire’s state capitol is more unpopular than ever with voters on both sides of the aisle, Republican House Labor Committee Chairman Gary Daniels and his allies have ramped up their attacks on working people. In a work session yesterday, the House Labor Committee took another step towards dismantling New Hampshire’s collective bargaining rights law by voting no fewer than five anti-worker bills ‘ought to pass.’

The bills voted out of committee included:

  • A new right-to-work for less bill similar to last year’s bill.
  • A second right-to-work bill that is a backup in case HB 1677 fails.
  • A bill that once repealed collective bargaining rights for teachers,  firefighters and other public workers; was stripped and amended in  committee to allow employers to lead decertifications of public unions.
  • A bill that strips the requirement for a union to be the exclusive  representative of a bargaining unit out of the collective bargaining law.
  • A  bill that gives the Legislature veto power over state and municipal employee contracts.
  • A bill that prohibits automatic payroll deduction of union dues, but was  stripped and amended to split increases in health insurance 50-50 between  employers and employees if a contract expires.

Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, said Daniels has “admitted that his plan is to throw this handful of bills to the wall and see what sticks.”

Clearly, they have not listened to the thousands of working men and women in New Hampshire who have pleaded with them to stop attacking workers and move on to fixing the economy and creating jobs.

The House Committee’s vote comes at a time when the tea party-driven Republican agenda in Concord is increasingly unpopular with voters on both sides of the aisle. More than half of New Hampshire voters oppose bills to eliminate or alter the collective bargaining rights law, according to a poll from the Beneson Strategy Group.

Since November, Democrats or pro-labor Republicans have won five of five special House elections, indicating that voters will take their frustrations with the tea party-driven Republican leadership with them to the polls in November.

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