Why is the NH Republican Party pushing so hard for their so-called “Right To Work” legislation?
Is it about jobs? Hardly. It has been proven time and time again that passing “Right To Work” legislation is not the magic job-creator that the Republicans claim it to be. If passing “Right To Work” had some type of magic to create jobs, then “Right To Work” states would have the lowest unemployment rates. Instead, the majority of “Right To Work” states have the highest unemployment rates in the entire country.
Is it about worker freedom? Again, this another myth promoted by Republicans who say that no worker should be “forced” to join a union to obtain a job. This lie is brought out every time the NH Legislature discusses “Right To Work” legislation. Fact: Nobody is forced to join a union. All unions who have agency fee provisions in their contracts have negotiated and agreed to this clause with their employer. Many employers have good relationships with their unions, and want to avoid the workplace tensions that “freeloading” causes. Passing “Right To Work” actually takes away the freedom of employers to negotiate their own collective bargaining agreements with their unions.
Is it about unions taking dues money and using it for political purposes? Nope, that’s not it either. Federal law already covers this: agency fees can only be used to negotiate and administer the collective bargaining agreement. Union members can – if they choose – donate to their union’s political action fund; and the union can use those monies for campaign donations. The difference is: political money is freely given by members and completely separate from dues and agency fee money.
If it’s not about any of those things, what else could it be about? Looks like pushing “Right To Work” is about funding NH Republican political campaigns.
Political blogger William Tucker found that the National Right To Work Committee “funneled over $25,000 in out-of-state campaign contributions to five New Hampshire senatorial candidates [in 2014] in an apparent attempt to shift the balance of power in favor of right-to-work legislation.” (Tuck breaks down exactly how the money was brought in by the NRTWC and pushed out through multiple different state level PACs.)
And the National Right to Work Committee directly gave $3,000 to Bill O’Brien in 2013, $10,000 to the House Republican Victory PAC of NH in 2012, and $1,000 to District 6 Sen. Sam Cataldo in 2012.
Yes, pushing “Right To Work” legislation helps the NH Republican Party fuel their fundraising.
Yes, this is what our “democracy” has come to, these days: looking for the profit motive for pushing legislation. That’s why so many people are getting involved in the movement to overturn Citizens United. The member organizations of the Democracy Initiative are leading the way, nationally. Here in New Hampshire, the American Friends Service Committee’s Governing under the Influence project and Ben Cohen’s Stamp Stampede are working to make Big Money an issue in the presidential primaries.
“Right to Work” has been rejected by the NH Legislature – time and time again – since the 1970s. Year after year, it’s the same-old, same-old: employers getting up and testifying to the Legislature that they (still) don’t want their hands tied when it comes to dealing with their employees.
Yet politicians like Rep Bill O’Brien keep reintroducing the bill, using the same old tired arguments.
No, it’s not about any of those repeated, repeated rationales.
It’s about fundraising.
And that’s really, really sad.