Statement from New Hampshire Labor Leaders on New Hampshire House Vote on HB 1677
After the New Hampshire House failed to get enough votes to pass a repeat of right-to-work by veto-proof margins, New Hampshire’s labor leaders lambasted Speaker O’Brien for pushing an extreme, unnecessary right-wing agenda over the real needs of Granite Staters for the second year in a row. The vote count (198-139) was essentially unchanged from last year.
“Speaker O’Brien has made absolutely no headway in pushing his pet piece of legislation with legislators and the public over the last year. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans who voted to sustain the governor’s veto of right-to-work have wavered. Right-to-work is just as wrong today as it was last year, and today’s vote reflects that,” said Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO.
“At a time when New Hampshire residents are looking to the Legislature for action on jobs, we cannot spend another year arguing over right-to-work. Poll after poll has shown that Granite Staters are sick of the right-to-work fight and sick of politicians who put personal agendas before their commitment to New Hampshire. The working men and women of this state want jobs, not attacks on workers.”
“Speaker O’Brien is trying to import an economic strategy that will not work for New Hampshire,” said Diana Lacey, president of the State Employees Association. “Businesses are coming to NH and increasing their size because NH already has the right mix of business development support, regulation and most notably, a highly skilled and educated workforce. Business owners know that making the right decision to invest in workers creates all the difference in the world. Businesses are not demanding attacks on worker rights and their unions. It is time for the Legislature to focus on the issues that really matter for good job growth…quality education and innovative business programs.”
Rhonda Wesolowski, president of NEA-NH, pointed out that today’s votes would gut a system that is already fair, transparent and representative. “Yesterday, voters across New Hampshire went to the polls to decide the fate of contracts for teachers, aides and support staff, giving taxpayers the last word on what, for many, is the largest portion of their local tax bills. The final tally is far less important than the fact that the current collective bargaining system, guaranteeing local control and democratic decision making, works without interference from lawmakers in Concord and has for decades.”
For immediate release
Contact: Nora Frederickson, New Hampshire AFL-CIO, 603-785-4211
Beth D’Ovidio, SEA, 603-271-3411
George Strout, NEA-NH, 603-244-7751###