About NH Labor

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

UNION YES! New American Airlines Passenger Service Agents Vote Big for Union Representation

American Airlines B777 (Aero Icarus CC FLICKR)

American Airlines B777 (Aero Icarus CC FLICKR)

Election is biggest union organizing victory in the South in decades

WASHINGTON — 9,000 American Airlines passenger service agents, after a 19-year struggle, joined together today in a vote with the members of the US Airways CWA-IBT Association to form a new bargaining unit of 14,500 agents at American Airlines. It is the largest labor organizing victory in the South in decades.

Three-quarters of the agents work in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona and 2,300 are home-based reservations agents.

By an 86 percent vote, airport and reservations agents overwhelmingly chose representation by the Communications Workers of America-Teamsters Association in the National Mediation Board election; results of the vote were announced this afternoon. US Airways and American Airlines merged to form the New American Airlines in 2013.

The vote clearly shows that workers who can make a fair choice about union representation want bargaining rights. New American agents are concentrated in southern states, and work at diverse locations, including large and smaller airports, call centers and at home. Across every group, they voted for bargaining rights and union representation.

Richard Shaughnessy has been an agent at Miami International Airport for 27 years and has been a leader of the American agents’ fight for a voice and bargaining rights.

“The merger between American Airlines and US Airways is an exciting time for all of us. But even more exciting is our victory today,” he said. “We’re the front line employees who interact with our customers every day, and we are looking forward to a positive relationship with management to make this merger ‘work’ for all of us. We are anxious to get to the bargaining table.”

Carroll Locklear is a home based reservations agent in Texas. “I’ve been with American Airlines for 18 years and through all of those years I have been praying for this day. We have been the odd employees out for so long, because we were the only employees without union representation. Gone are the days that management can take what want when they want. This will be  a win-win for all of us,” Locklear said.

“We feel stronger now with this vote,” Eula Smith, a customer service agent in Charlotte, said. “I’m a 60-year-old woman with 42 years with this employer. You can’t live in the South and make a decent wage unless you are in senior management in a corporation or belong to a union. We need this. We need not just a union, we need CWA.”

Ken Grunwald is a 23-year-reservations agent, working at the call center in North Carolina. “I’m proud to remember everyone over the years who worked so hard for our union voice, who never gave up in the face of adversity, and who gave their blood, sweat and tears so that we would have the opportunity to celebrate this victory today. It’s a victory for all American Airlines employees! I’m so excited to think that we will finally be able to negotiate a legally binding contract. We now all have each other’s ‘back,’“ Grunwald said.

Vickey Hoots has been a US Airways reservations agent at the Winston-Salem N.C., cell center for 29 years. “This win was a long time in coming, at American Airlines, just as it was  at US Airways. I’m so proud of all our members and we’re excited that we will be able to negotiate the industry leading contract that our members deserve,” Hoots said.

Janet Elston, an agent at Dallas International Airport, says, “19 years ago, a handful of agents started a drive to obtain representation for AA airport and reservations agents. Many hundreds of activists have spent thousands of hours over the years to get us to today’s election result. They never wavered and never, ever gave up. We have finally achieved what most thought was impossible: union representation for our work group. Now we’ll begin a new working relationship with our company, with a legal binding contract.”

US Airways agents have been CWA members since 2000. US Airways merged with America West in 2005; passenger service agents at the former America West had organized with the IBT in 2004. After the merger, the CWA and the IBT formed the Airline Customer Service Employee Association, CWA-IBT.

CWA represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications; media; airlines; the public; health care and education sector; and manufacturing.

Garcia’s Party Line Opposition To The ACA Leaves Unanswered Questions About Her Health Insurance

obamacare-playbookMarilinda Garcia, the Republican candidate for Congress in the Second District, says she’s adamantly opposed to the Affordable Care Act. But how is she getting her healthcare?

Garcia seemed to be stumped when a NHPR reporter question her about her own healthcare. He asked if she got healthcare through the Affordable Care Act exchange.

Garcia: “I… that’s my own issue.”
NHPR: “So you don’t want to say?”
Garcia: “No that’s fine, I don’t need to share everything.” 

NHPR: “Is it fair to say you are not getting your health care through Obamacare, through the (federal) exchange?”
Garcia: “I don’t need to talk about that. Thank you.”

This entire exchange completely puzzles me. This is a very simple question, asked of someone who has put herself in the public arena by running for a high-level federal office.

It should have been really easy for Garcia to answer – unless Garcia she’s trying to hide the truth. Did she have healthcare insurance at all before this interview? If she had insurance before, where was she getting her insurance from?

If someone were to ask me if I get healthcare from the ACA, the answer would be, “No, I get my health insurance through my employer.” Since Marilinda was nice enough to inform us that she only has a part time job giving harp lessons, we can be pretty sure she is not getting healthcare from her employer.

Garcia’s campaign was also nice enough to tell us that Garcia is in her early 30s and is still living at home with her parents. It is too bad she is not under 26 because then she could have stayed on her parents’ healthcare plan. (How old is her sister Bianca? I wonder if she is still their parents’ healthcare plan.)

Garcia is trying, and failing, to get people to believe that – at least during this campaign – she is buying insurance from a private company on a month-to-month basis, without going through the ACA exchange in any way. Even though her campaign admits she is eligible to use the ACA exchange.

I wonder how much Garcia’s monthly insurance costs?

Marilinda Garcia (Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)I also wonder how a harp teacher who only works part time can afford to purchase an individual policy directly from the insurer on a month-to-month basis. I can’t think of a more expensive way to buy insurance. Even the lowest-rated plans (with high deductibles and high out-of-pocket limits) cost about $350 a month.

Of course, if Marilinda gets elected, she will undoubtedly sign up for the federal healthcare plan, while she collects that $174,000-a-year Congressional paycheck.

“I want to represent those who have seen their situation go beyond the bounds of what they expected” when the law was implemented, Garcia told the Union Leader. “People were told they could keep their doctor. People were told they could keep their plans if they liked them. All of that was false.”

It’s easy for Garcia to spout negatives and toss around blame. In fact, Republicans in the US House of Representatives put together a step-by-step instruction manual on exactly how to do that. Read the House Republican Playbook here, and then try to figure out if Garcia is saying anything that wasn’t pre-scripted for her.

(Then, maybe you’ll want to consider whether scripting political attacks is a very good use of Congressional funds.)

I guess it is very easy for Garcia to blame Congresswoman Kuster and President Obama for passing healthcare reforms that have been in the works for decades. A healthcare plan that expanded access for millions of Americans. A healthcare plan that lowered premiums for tens of thousands of Granite Staters while mandating better coverage.

What happened to the “old plans” that Garcia is so nostalgic for? Those canceled policies didn’t meet the ACA’s minimum standards for health insurance. But instead of changing the policies to meet the requirements, insurers across the nation just canceled them.

Except here in New Hampshire. Here in the Granite State, Anthem is still renewing those out-of-compliance health care plans.

What happened to limit coverage? That’s private market forces at work. If you’ve been following New Hampshire health insurance for a while, maybe you remember Anthem’s contract dispute with Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians?

Anthem was not willing to negotiate or mediate, and in order to ensure uninterrupted access to high quality, local care for more than 20,000 patients who utilize the services of Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians, we had no choice but to accept Anthem’s demand for more favorable reimbursement rates.

“Although the $10 million in concessions Anthem has demanded will have a negative impact on the health care resources available to this community, we will strive to provide the very best health care services to the tens of thousands of patients we care for every year,” says Kevin Callahan, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Aren’t Republicans supposed to be in favor of market forces? But Garcia doesn’t the practical effects? (This sort of thing wouldn’t happen with Single-Payer.)

Or maybe Garcia finds it more provocative to blame the President and the incumbent Congresswoman, rather than Anthem corporate executives.

WellPoint is known as a company that lavishes money and stock on its CEOs. Braly’s predecessor, Larry Glasscock, once pulled down total disclosed annual compensation of almost $50 million. Most of that rich outlay was a stock and cash award, payable over three years, given after he ­orchestrated the 2004 merger of Anthem and WellPoint.

“Tea Party extremist Marilinda Garcia signed the Koch Brothers pledge calling to take away health care from tens of thousands of Granite State families, but refuses to say where she receives her own coverage,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. “If Marilinda Garcia is going to make denying health coverage to hard-working Granite Staters a central part of her campaign, then voters deserve to know what she is hiding when it comes to her own health care.”

 

Greater Transparency Can Prevent Workplace Fatalities, Says National Safety Group

Bureau of Labor Statistics Must Release Data on Where and How Workers Die on the Job

NCOSH 300X250LONGMEADOW, MA —  The release today of the preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows the need for greater transparency and full disclosure about workplace deaths, says Mary Vogel, Executive Director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).

“We know that 4,405 U.S. workers died on the job in 2013, a tragic loss for their families and communities,” said Vogel. “We know that when final data is released, there will be even more fatalities to mourn.  We know, based on decades of research and practice, that the vast majority of these deaths can be prevented.  We also know how to prevent the tens of thousands of deaths, not included in today’s census, which result each year from long-term exposure to toxic chemicals, unsafe practices and other workplace hazards.”

 “What we don’t know – even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects this information – is the name of each victim, their employer, and the specific circumstances leading to their deaths.”

 “We want to have as much factual information as we can about how our loved ones lost their lives at work,” said Tammy Miser of United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities, a national organization which brings together surviving family members of workers who have died on the job. “Rather than just counting bodies, we need a complete accounting of the circumstances of each individual case. Understanding what happened in the past is crucial so we can save lives in the future.”

“We need greater disclosure and transparency to transform a data collection program into a public health tool,” said Celeste Monforton, who is a professorial lecturer at the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University.

“Right now, we’re missing opportunities to prevent injuries and deaths because fatality information is hidden within inspection files,” she said. “The more we see, the more we know, the more successful we can be in preventing future tragedies.”

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace.  “Preventable Deaths 2014,” a National COSH report, describes workplace fatalities in the United States and how they can be prevented. For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org.  Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.

NH Alliance For Retired Americans Endorse Annie Kuster at Social Security Anniversary Celebration

Kuster and NHARA Endorsement 1Today, Alliance for Retired Americans members proudly endorsed Annie Kuster for re-election to the U.S. Congress from New Hampshire’s 2nd District at a celebration of Social Security’s 79th anniversary in Nashua.

“Annie Kuster is really a champion for seniors. She can be trusted to lead with our interests. Her views on keeping health care affordable and retirement secure are among the reasons that we stand behind Annie Kuster and her candidacy for U.S. Congress,” said Lucy Edwards, President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans.

Annie Kuster’s strong positions on fighting Social Security and Medicare privatization and strengthening Social Security and Medicare confirm her commitment to improving the quality of life for older Americans. She understands that selling off our Medicare to the big insurance companies or turning our Social Security over to Wall Street would benefit few and harm many, including New Hampshire seniors.

“We need to make sure we elect representative s who support these essential safety net programs   we know retirees and their families can count on Anne Kuster,” added Edwards.

To commemorate Social Security’s birthday, activists also released a new report showing how important Social Security is to seniors in New Hampshire. To view the report, go to:

http://www.socialsecurityworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/NH2014.pdf

The Alliance for Retired Americans represents over 4.3 million retirees and community activists, including more than 13,000 members in New Hampshire.

NH Alliance For Retired Americans President Lucy Edwards remarks at the endorsement as prepared are below this image. 

 

 

Kuster and Lucy EdwardsWelcome to all of you, and thank you for coming!  My name is Lucy Edwards, and I serve as the President of the Executive Board of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans.

Every year, at this birthday time for Medicare and Social Security, I think about these wonderful programs and our New Hampshire retirees. It often seems that New Hampshire runs on volunteers, and like so many of our seniors, I am a volunteer, not only for our Alliance but also on my town’s planning board. This year most of our board went to a conference put on by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, and heard the latest statistics on our population and our economy. We knew that New Hampshire had one of the oldest populations in the country but now it seems we are getting older even faster than previously thought.  As the board charged with planning our land use in the future we are asking ourselves, “How will we help our town deal with this changing demographic? What does this mean for economic development here?”  

One thing I am very sure of is that we will need Social Security and Medicare to be flourishing programs, so that we all can retire with dignity and security, and continue to be a vital part of our communities. Congresswoman Kuster is a champion for small business in New Hampshire, and our small businesses will not flourish without our retirees having income to spend.  Did you know that Social Security benefits totaled $4.1 billion in New Hampshire in 2013?  That’s a lot of local business, and seniors spend almost all their money locally. 

I’m sure we all understand that Medicare not only helps seniors stay healthy in retirement, but that without it the cost of healthcare would leave most of our seniors in poverty.  There will be no help for New Hampshire’s economy if something like the Ryan budget should pass Congress, with its vouchers for private insurance as a Medicare replacement.  Congresswoman Kuster has pledged her support for Social Security and Medicare and fought against cuts to these programs. She has also introduced the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act which would increase Social Security benefits for qualifying caregivers who spend more than 80 hours per month providing care to their loved ones.

We need to make sure we elect representatives in Congress who support these essential senior safety net programs. That’s why the Alliance for Retired Americans, a nation-wide group of over 4.2 million members, and our New Hampshire Alliance, with 14,000 members, endorse Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster for Congress in New Hampshire’s 2nd District.  We know retirees and their families can count on her!

Remember this: seniors should do their homework in November and vote in self-defense!

 

 

9-12-14 Remarks by Lucy Edwards, President New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans

NH Reformers Deliver Petitions To Kelly Ayotte In Support Of ‘Democracy for All’

NH Reformers Hold ‘Democracy for All’ Rally as U.S. Senate Debates Constitutional Amendment to Curb Big Money in Politics

Citizens Urge Senator Ayotte to Back Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United Supreme Court Ruling in Historic Vote This Week

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NASHUA, NH: On Thursday, September 11, fifteen concerned citizens delivered 12,000 petition signatures from New Hampshire residents to U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte’s Nashua office asking her to back a constitutional amendment to curb the flood of private money in politics.

The rally came as the U.S. Senate this week considers the “Democracy for All” amendment (S.J. Res. 19), which would restore the ability of Congress and the states to enact commonsense limits on election spending. Fifty-four New Hampshire towns have expressed support for a constitutional amendment.

“We are here to respectfully ask Senator Ayotte to join the other members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation and follow the lead of 54 NH towns – not to mention the vast majority of her constituents – in voting to end the corrupt system of corporate and union funding of elections,” said Daniel Weeks, Executive Director of Open Democracy. “Like our founder, Doris ‘Granny D’ Haddock, we truly believe that when money is speech, speech is no longer free for all Americans.”

The amendment is in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and McCutcheon v. FEC. In Citizens United, the court gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections. As a result, spending by outside groups – those not affiliated with campaigns – skyrocketed, and the voices of voters have increasingly been drowned out by special interests. In McCutcheon, the court struck down the aggregate campaign spending limits, allowing the super-wealthy to contribute millions of dollars directly to candidates, political parties and joint fundraising committees.

Polls show that voters across party lines overwhelmingly oppose Citizens United and support a constitutional amendment to curb the influence of money in politics. The Senate is scheduled to take a historic vote on the amendment later this week.

Dozens of organizations nationwide have collected more than 3 million signatures calling for the rulings to be overturned and democracy to be restored to the people. Sixteen states, approximately 550 cities and towns, more than 160 former and current members of Congress, and President Barack Obama have indicated support for the amendment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Local Union Activist Confronts Scott Brown On The Minimum Wage

IMG_4548.JPG

From the NH Union Leader “Brown moves quickly on U.S. Senate campaign trail, making Portsmouth, Manchester stops”

Wayne Alterisio, 67, of Manchester, a U.S. Postal worker and U.S. Army veteran who was appointed to Shaheen’s Veterans for Shaheen Leadership Committee, was sitting up front, near the door. He asked Brown why the minimum wage can’t be increased to a living wage to get the economy going.
He wasn’t happy with Brown’s answer, which was, in part, that there is a need to get businesses at the table to discuss it.

“No, no,” Alterisio said of Brown’s answer. Alterisio said there are companies paying low wages and having employees watch videos showing them how to apply for food stamps and other government hand-outs.
Increasing the minimum wage, he said, is a way to get the economy roaring because it’s money that gets spent.

He said he paid off a 30-year mortgage in 25 years and put two children through college on one income because of the wages he earned at the U.S. Postal Service, where he has worked for 25 years.
A Democrat, Alterisio said he will not vote for Brown come November.

Way to go Wayne. Keep up the great work!

APWU Weighs In On Constitutional Amendment To End Citizens United

Statement by APWU President Mark Dimondstein on the ‘Democracy for All’ Constitutional Amendment 

Since 2010, it’s gotten harder for minorities, young people, senior citizens and working people to vote, but easier for the super-rich to buy elections. Corporate money is drowning out the voice of the people.

The Senate vote on Sept. 8 to allow consideration of the “Democracy for All” Constitutional Amendment presents a good opportunity to address the issue, as do other measures.

The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for billionaires, corporations and private special interests to thoroughly dominate our politics. In 2012, almost 60 percent of super PAC donations came from just 159 donors. More than 93 percent came from 3,318 donors – just 0.0011 percent of the U.S. population.

Since then, there’s been an epidemic of legislation designed to suppress the vote. Voter identifications laws and limits on early voting are restricting access to the polls, and the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby ruling weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

At our recent national convention, APWU members declared, “Money isn’t speech and corporations aren’t people,” and voted to endorse efforts to overturn Citizens United.

We call on Congress and the people to take action.

Governor Hassan: “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep NH moving in the right direction”

Governor Addresses Crowd of Supporters at General Election Kick-Off Rally in Manchester, Presents Vision for Building a Brighter Economic Future

Manchester—Outlining her vision for building a brighter economic future, Governor Maggie Hassan addressed a crowd of supporters at her general election kick-off rally, calling for continued bipartisan cooperation to keep the state moving forward.

The Governor told the packed house, “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction,” and discussed her efforts to bring together Republicans, Democrats and independents to expand middle class opportunity and help innovative businesses create jobs.

“Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track,” said Governor Hassan. “We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.”

The Governor outlined how far New Hampshire’s people, families, and communities have come over the past twenty months, highlighting how she worked across party lines to balance the budget without an income or sales tax, to freeze in-state tuition at our colleges and universities, to broker agreements to end expensive lawsuits that threatened our state’s finances and bond rating, reach a bipartisan compromise to expand health care to 50,000 working people, and to develop a plan to fix our roads and bridges, including finishing the completion of I-93.

“I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving,” said Governor Hassan. “Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.”

The Governor also emphasized what’s at stake this November, and how her opponent and his Koch Brothers agenda would be a disaster for middle class families and take New Hampshire’s economy backward to the devastating cuts to higher education, health care and public safety made by the Bill O’Brien legislature.

“By signing his name to the Koch Brothers pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction,” said Governor Hassan.

The Governor added, “He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.”

And she said, “When it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted. He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.”

In her speech, Governor Hassan stressed that “we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.”

To build an even brighter economic future, the Governor outlined that we must continue working to help innovative businesses start and grow in New Hampshire, make higher education, health care and energy more affordable, and help working families make ends meet by restoring and increasing the state’s minimum wage.

“I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done,” said Governor Hassan.”

See below for full text of Governor Hassan’s primary night address, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you.

Thank you to all of you here tonight – you are the force that powers this campaign and that allows us to make progress for the people of our state.  

And thank you Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for that introduction and for once again hosting us here tonight, but most of all, thank you for being a steadfast advocate for our communities on the Executive Council.

Thank you as well to our United States Senator, the incomparable Jeanne Shaheen, who always puts New Hampshire first.

I want to take a moment to tell my family – Tom, Meg, Liz and my mother Peggy who are here with me tonight, and my son Ben who’s following along at home – how much I appreciate the support and love you give me.

And I want to thank the people of New Hampshire, who work together every day to strengthen their families, their communities, and the state we all love.

Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track.

We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.

And we have come a long way together over the last twenty months.   

Two years ago, instead of working to solve our state’s problems, many elected officials had become the problem – because they were pursuing a radical agenda instead of looking out for the priorities of our small businesses and our middle class families.

On any given issue, the only question that seemed to matter to Bill O’Brien’s legislature was simply: what would the Koch Brothers do?

The O’Brien legislature slashed funding for higher education in half, defunded Planned Parenthood, and cut critical services for children and families.

Under that legislature, our roads and bridges were crumbling, our mental health services were severely strained, and our economy was heading in the wrong direction.

Worse than that, the O’Brien legislature turned its back on the traditions that make the Granite State strong: cooperation, bipartisanship and common-sense problem solving.

It got so bad they were starting to make Washington look reasonable and civil.

And so we all stood together in 2012 to say “enough.”  

Now, I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving.

Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.

By working with independents, Republicans and Democrats, we’ve made progress to expand opportunity for middle class families and support innovative businesses so they can create good jobs here in New Hampshire.

We reached out across the aisle and passed the most bipartisan budget in over a decade – with no income or sales tax.

It’s a budget that is making it a bit easier for hard-working people around this state to send their kids to college – because we were able to freeze in-state tuition at our university system, and at our community colleges this fall, tuition is actually five percent less.

That’s helping our families, and helping build the workforce we need to grow New Hampshire’s economy.

To better prepare our young people for jobs in the 21st century economy, we’re working to modernize science, technology, engineering, and math education in schools across our state.

To ensure fiscal responsibility, we came together to tackle the big challenges that were threatening our state’s financial outlook and bond rating.

We ended costly lawsuits by working with both parties to replace our shamefully outdated women’s prison, reach a fair agreement with hospitals to resolve the Medicaid Enhancement Tax issue, and rebuild community mental health services across our state.

To support our businesses, we’re helping them sell their products across the world, we re-invested in keeping New Hampshire a top destination for tourism, and we doubled the research and development tax credit.

And through our “Live Free and Start” initiative, we’re helping make it easier for small, innovative businesses to open in New Hampshire.

In addition, to strengthen our economy, we came together to pass a bipartisan transportation plan, and now we’re fixing roads and bridges across the state and finally finishing the expansion of I-93.

And of course, right now, more than 13,000 hard-working Granite Staters have new health and economic security – because of our bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan.  

While the far right has focused on trying to repeal health coverage, we found a way to bring both parties together to develop a fiscally responsible, New Hampshire solution that will strengthen our families, businesses and economy.

But what good is our work to support middle class families and to get our economy moving in the right direction if a young woman at her first job isn’t paid fairly or if she can’t access the basic health care she needs?

That’s why we passed the bipartisan New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women can receive equal pay for an equal day’s work.

And while we saw the Supreme Court rule that employers can deny women health insurance that covers their full health needs, including contraception – here in New Hampshire we’ve fought to ensure that women and families can access critical health services by restoring funding for Planned Parenthood.

In the last year and a half, we’ve put New Hampshire back on the right track.

And we have come too far to let my opponent take us backward.  

By signing his name to the Koch Brothers’ pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction.

He signed his name to repealing our bipartisan plan to fix our roads and bridges.

He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.

He pledged to the Koch Brothers that he’d support so-called “right to work” legislation – which we all know really means “right to work for less” – while he opposes restoring and improving our minimum wage.  

And when it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted.

He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.

And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.

And if all of that isn’t bad enough, he has criticized our bipartisan budget that reinvests in higher education, and said that he opposes additional state funding for our universities.

In his debate just last week, he actually praised Bill O’Brien and his devastating budget cuts.

It’s clear that my opponent would simply be a rubber stamp for Bill O’Brien and the Koch Brothers.

We can’t afford to return to that disastrous agenda.

 

We’ve worked together. We’ve reached across party lines to get things done. We’re moving in the right direction.

Working together, we’ve set in motion an innovation plan that is strengthening the foundation of our 21st century economy.

Unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 2008 and the private sector has created 10,000 jobs in the last year.  

But we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.

We need to continue to focus on holding down the cost of higher education, on keeping our young people here, and preparing our workforce for good 21st century jobs.

We need to do more to help innovative businesses start up and thrive in New Hampshire, and to make it easier for our existing companies to grow.

We need to build on the new competition in our health insurance marketplace to continue making coverage more affordable and more accessible for all of our people and businesses.

We need to reduce energy costs while protecting our beautiful natural resources that drive our tourism economy and define us as a place and as a people.

And we need to give working families a better opportunity to make ends meet by restoring and improving the minimum wage.

That’s why I’m running for another term as your Governor.  

I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done.

New Hampshire is a rugged, inclusive and beautiful place where we combine a sense of community and individualism like nowhere else.

No story exemplifies this New Hampshire spirit better than the story of Rustic Crust in Pittsfield.

In March, the company lost their old facility in a devastating fire.

But rather than despair, within minutes, Rustic Crust founder and CEO Brad Sterl took a deep breath and said, “OK, we have to rebuild.”

“These employees rely on this business,” he said, as he pledged to rebuild better and stronger, while paying his workers the whole time.

His employees have told me how much that generosity meant to him.

Through the company’s perseverance, ingenuity and commitment to its workers, and with the strength and support of their community, Pittsfield and Rustic Crust rallied together, and just last month, broke ground to rebuild at the same location.

This is the kind of story I see all across New Hampshire.

We are an all-hands-on-deck state. When we face a challenge, the people of New Hampshire roll up our sleeves and we come together to get things done.

That’s how the Pittsfield community is helping to rebuild Rustic Crust.

That’s how we’ve worked to put our state back on the right track over the past 20 months.

And that’s how, if you keep standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction toward an even brighter economic future for all Granite Staters.

Thank you. I ask for your vote. Let’s keep New Hampshire moving forward.

NH’s Congressional Delegation Praise TIGER Grant To Replace The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge

By Eric L. Reuter via Wikimedia Commons

By Eric L. Reuter via Wikimedia Commons

Shaheen and Ayotte: Replacement of deteriorating infrastructure is critical to Seacoast region, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation welcomed an announcement last night that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award $25 million in grant funding for the replacement of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.  The 70-year-old bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, is rated structurally deficient, and requires immediate replacement to ensure public safety and continuation of interstate commerce.

“This is terrific news for New Hampshire and especially the Seacoast region, which relies on the Sarah Long Bridge for interstate travel and commerce,” Shaheen and Ayotte said. “The replacement of this aging infrastructure will help support transit and economic activity in New Hampshire and Maine, as well as national security needs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which relies on the bridge’s rail component.  Replacing the bridge has been a bipartisan and regional effort, and we are pleased that New Hampshire and Maine’s DOTs worked together to successfully compete for this federal grant.”

“This is good government to invest in our infrastructure, and I am very pleased that $25 million in funds will come to the Seacoast to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.  “The New Hampshire and Maine delegations supported this TIGER grant because we all understand that the Sarah Long Bridge is vital to our safety, our economy, and national security.  I congratulate the New Hampshire and Maine Departments of Transportation for their successful application.” 

“I am thrilled that the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replacement project will be awarded a $25 million Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) VI grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I was proud to join the rest of New Hampshire Congressional Delegation in advocating for this critical grant to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which stretches between Portsmouth and Kittery, ME. Investments in infrastructure benefit NH families and businesses, and boost the economy of our entire state. While this is welcome news, much work remains across New Hampshire. Our state earned a “C” grade for its infrastructure, and I’ll continue fighting in Congress to fund critical upgrades to our roads, bridges, and other projects.”

In 2013, Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Ayotte joined members of Maine’s congressional delegation in inviting Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to visit the bridge, and they have consistently advocated for the bridge’s replacement in letters, hearings, and in meetings with U.S. Department of Transportation officials.

Previously, Shaheen and Ayotte partnered with members New Hampshire’s and Maine’s congressional delegations to obtain funding for the replacement of the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth.

New York State Comptroller Intervenes In FairPoint Labor Dispute

Fairness at Fairpoint Banner

Calls on Major Hedge Fund Owner and FairPoint Investor to Ensure Fair Treatment of Workers

Augusta, ME—On September 3rd, Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York, wrote to John Angelo, CEO of Angelo, Gordon & Co.—owner of almost 20 percent of FairPoint stock—to express his concern about reports that FairPoint has violated federal law in bargaining with representatives of almost 2,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in northern New England.

  • DiNapoli is sole Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), the nation’s third largest public pension fund, which invests the assets of more than one million members, retirees, and beneficiaries of the retirement system in New York State.
  • The CRF is an investor in the AG Super Fund, a hedge fund managed by Angelo, Gordon & Co.
  • In addition to owning almost 20 percent of FairPoint stock, Angelo, Gordon & Co. has a designee on FairPoint’s Board of Directors.

According to Mr. DiNapoli’s letter, “In our experience as a long-term institutional investor, where a company has a constructive relationship with its workers and provides sustainable retirement benefits, the company becomes a stronger, more profitable, and more enduring enterprise.”

He went on to say that, “We are, therefore, concerned by publicly reported allegations that FairPoint has not acted in good faith and has violated federal law; specifically, assertions that FairPoint improperly declared an impasse in collective bargaining and unlawfully imposed” the terms of its final contract proposals.

Union leaders welcomed Mr. DiNapoli’s intervention. “Angelo, Gordon is the largest FairPoint stockholder and has tremendous influence over management’s decisions. We hope that Mr. Angelo takes seriously this intervention by Mr. DiNapoli, who represents one of the largest pension funds in the US,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 and chair of the unions’ bargaining committee.

The Chairman of FairPoint’s Board of Directors, Edward Horowitz, recently informed an advisor to union leaders that members of the Board have been briefed on the company’s bargaining position and that the Board fully endorses that position.

“It is disappointing to hear that members of FairPoint’s Board of Directors support the company’s attacks on working families across northern New England,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “We believe that our members are the reason this company emerged from bankruptcy and has begun to recover after its truly ill-advised purchase of Verizon. We will continue to educate investors like the CRF about this company’s decision to put short-term profits above the long-term interests of its workers, customers, and their communities.”

View the letter here.