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About NH Labor News

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.

The NH AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast: Governor John Lynch

Sept 3 2012,

Governor John Lynch

The NH AFL-CIO hosted their annual Labor Day Breakfast at the St George Greek Orthodox Church in Manchester NH.  The place was filled with many big hitters in New Hampshire including the current NH Governor John Lynch.  Governor Lynch was a savior to the labor community this past two years.  His veto of Right to Work for less legislation was only the first of many steps to protect New Hampshire from the extreme actions of the New Hampshire House.

Even as he is in the final stretch of his final term as Governor of New Hampshire, he still and always will oppose Right To Work for less.

It was Governor Lynch’s great leadership that help to pass a new minimum wage law in NH. He also raised a high school drop out age and effectively lowered the number of dropouts in NH to 1% overall.


Governor John Lynch and Jackie Cilley

Governor Lynch will be greatly missed.  I only pray that we can elect a Governor who will work to protect the rights of workers not tear them down.  We need to elect a Governor who opposed Right to Work for less. One who believes that public service workers are important and have value.

Why Building Trades Members Should Care About How they Vote in November

Todd Farally is a 3rd generation Union Sheet Metal Worker, Blogger, Activist, and WCH Contributor, who has dedicated his life to the positive promotion of Labor Unions and Working Class Family Values.

As we move ever closer to the 2012 General Election, I really want to convey something to you, my union brothers and sisters who feel Mitt Romney and the Republican Party as a whole have their best interests in mind and plan on voting for GOP candidates and incumbents this fall.  Because if they win, you will regret it. I’m a Sheet Metal Worker by trade and one thing we don’t do is dance around the issue.  We tell it like it is and don’t apologize for doing so. So believe me when I say that this Presidential Candidate and newly minted Party platform is the most anti-union in probably the last one hundred years.

First let’s focus on Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney has gone out of his way to prove how anti-union he is. I’ll put it to you this way  – George W. Bush looks like a friend to Labor Unions next to Romney.  On numerous occasions Mitt has reiterated how he will take on the unions, how he will fervently support Right-to-Work (for less) laws and push to get a national version of those terrible laws on his desk to sign. And sign he will. Recently, the anti-union lobbying group Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) endorsed Mitt Romney for President.  But Mr. Romney didn’t just receive this endorsement; he actively sought it out. When Romney spoke in front of the ABC several months ago he exclaimed: “One of the first things that I will do – actually on Day One – is I will end the government’s favoritism towards unions in contracting on Federal projects.” He goes on to say he will fight to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act and end Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). Does any of that sound like a good idea to you? It sure doesn’t to me.

Now this isn’t just one candidate anymore – in fact at the Republican National Convention, delegates approved a new platform with some of the most anti-union language anyone has seen from either of the major political parties in generations. Like Romney, the platform encourages right-to-work (for less) laws on both State and National levels.

While Right-to-Work laws vary from state to state, they can adversely affect those of us in the construction trades as well as our brothers and sisters in the manufacturing sector. Do we deserve these rotten laws? No!  But don’t worry, there’s more just for those of us in the construction trades. This newly minted GOP platform is also putting construction unions in its crosshairs. The platform calls for an end to PLAs and the repeal of Davis-Bacon. So how bad could it be? Well, if you live in a large metropolitan area like I do, it will certainly make things worse. But the ones that are really going to feel the most pain from this would be our brothers and sisters in rural areas. A large portion of the work in rural areas are government or Institutional jobs and without Davis-Bacon to protect wage standards, these jobs would most likely go to non-union construction companies that pay their workers a substandard wage and probably provide no benefits.

Still not convinced? OK, let’s talk about what Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is trying to base his campaign on: his business experience. Romney is rich, very rich, as in worth $250 million dollars rich and that’s fine, good for him. But how did he acquire that wealth?  Mitt made his money the old fashioned way; he outsourced good paying American – many union – jobs to countries like China. By now you probably know that Romney ran Bain Capital. However several documented cases show that Bain would buy not just viable, but profitable companies, and then purposely run them into the ground to claim bankruptcy. What came next was the worst part. Bain would lay off the employees, in some cases steal their pensions, shutter the business, strip out all the assets and sell it all off, piece by piece. This businessman who wants to be our President is running on his experience and his business experience entails selling out the American worker. Are you sure you want to vote for someone that built their fortune this way? Would you trust him to look out for working people?

We in the building trades have really hit a rough patch. I was laid off for twenty four months straight from late 2009 to late 2011, was lucky enough to work for seven and a half months and am currently laid off again. I know what it’s like to wake up feeling that all you want to do is go to work, to feel like you have a purpose, and the fear of uncertainty. But things can get much worse if we either don’t vote at all or vote for people that will work against our economic interests. And saying you’ve always voted Republican is not an excuse because you simply don’t want to face the fact that your party has turned on you. I can understand that  – change is hard, but betrayal is even worse, and  you have to ask yourself: What has this party said or done to deserve my vote? Speaking as a union member, I can say that the Republicans seem to say and do more and more against us and our families. As my Dad used to say, “Always vote your job, because the other guy sure as hell is.”

Cross-posted with permission: Original Link

A Labor Day Proclamation From President Obama

White House Photo by Pete Souza




Through times of prosperity and hardship alike, America counts on the strength and dynamism of the world’s finest labor force. From the factory floor and the office to the classroom and the interstate, working men and women are the unshakable foundation of American innovation and economic growth. On Labor Day, we celebrate their vital role and reaffirm that America will always stand behind our workers.

The rights and benefits we enjoy today were not simply handed to working men and women; they had to be won. Brick by brick, America’s labor unions helped raise the landmarks of middle-class security: the 40-hour workweek and weekends, paid leave and pensions, the minimum wage and health insurance, Social Security and Medicare. These are the victories that make our Nation’s promise possible — the idea that if we work hard and play by the rules, we can make a better life for ourselves and our families.

I am committed to preserving the collective bargaining rights that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. It is the fundamental right of every American to have a voice on the job, and a chance to negotiate for fair pay, safe working conditions, and a secure retirement. When we uphold these basic principles, our middle class grows and everybody prospers.

Our Nation faces tough times, but I have never stopped betting on the American worker. This is the labor force that revolutionized the assembly line and built the arsenal of democracy that defeated fascism in World War II. These are the workers who built our homes, highways, and rail lines, who educate our children and care for the sick. American workers have taken us through the digital revolution and into a 21st century economy. As my Administration fights to create good jobs and restore the American dream, I am confident that, together, we will emerge from today’s challenges as we always have — stronger than ever before.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 3, 2012, as Labor Day. I call upon all public officials and people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the contributions and resilience of working Americans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


NH Labor News 9/4/12: NH AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast Was A Big Success, Middle Class Under Siege, Voter ID, Labor Rally In Boston, and more

Over 300 Attend AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast In Manchester | New Hampshire Public Radio: “The AFL-CIO of New Hampshire held its annual Labor Day breakfast at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester this morning.  More than three hundred working men and women gathered to hear from Governor Lynch, Employment Security commissioner George Copadis, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and others.

The event’s featured guest and keynote speaker was AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, who says she came to New Hampshire not just to recognize New Hampshire’s workers, but to encourage them to get involved in the upcoming presidential and local elections.”

Union politics rule day | New Hampshire NEWS06: “Politics was the main course at the annual AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast Monday. Gov. John Lynch joined other elected officials and candidates, mostly Democrats, in addressing hundreds of union workers at the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Early in Lynch’s speech, the audience stood to applaud enthusiastically when he referred to the defeat, for the second year in a row, of right-to-work legislation.”

‘Under siege’: Survey gauges U.S. workers, middle class | SeacoastOnline.com: “David Lang of Hampton, president of the 2,000-member Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, said the upcoming election is vital because the state can’t afford to continue on its current path.

“We need to end the kind of public disdain for public employees,” Lang said. “You can’t call people who are dedicated to public safety ‘thugs’ and ‘parasites.’ It shows a real lack of political leadership that in tough economic times they don’t want to sit down and collaborate. When leaders are afraid to lead, they want to make you afraid of public employees.”

Lang believes the state “is at a crossroads,” not only for union members but for all workers.”

Rapid rollout of voter law creates confusion: “While its goals are laudable, New Hampshire legislators may not have considered fully the burdens their new Voter ID Law places on state and local government.

Local town clerks are busy registering new voters for the Sept. 11 primary in New Hampshire and the general election in November. But they are also letting voters know about the requirements of the new law.

Londonderry Town Clerk Meg Seymour said recently that she planned to attend a training session. Until then, she said, she is just advising new voters they will need a photo ID in the future.

“Right now, we’re crazy registering voters,” she said. “Everyone’s getting ready to go back to school.””

WGME 13 :: News – National News: “PORTSMLOUTH, N.H. (AP) — The steel that will be used to rebuild a bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is expected to arrive in October.
The main contractor for the Memorial Bridge says the structural steel is being fabricated in Claremont.
A new concrete bridge deck also is planned for this fall.
Crews have run into debris in some of their drilling work on one of the piers. Contractor Archer Western says the wood, steel and old piping has slowed down some of their work. As a result, they have been working double shifts to catch up.
The new bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, is expected to be completed by July 2013. The old Memorial Bridge connected the two communities for nearly 90 years.”

Labor Day rally for janitors rights draws nearly 1,000 marchers – Metro Desk – Local news updates from The Boston Globe: “Hundreds of union workers marched from Boston Common to Copley Square this afternoon in a Labor Day rally supporting efforts to win 14,000 New England janitors the right to work full time — and receive benefits such as health insurance — when their contract expires at the end of the month.

“I’m here today because I’m proud of what I’m doing for this country and for my family,” said Silvia Clarke, who lives in Lowell. “We deserve a better life for all of us. When we are here today, we are saying to our companies that we want more because we deserve more. We do the job, they get the money.””

This Labor Day, Remember The Workers – New Hampshire Labor News: “For some, Labor Day is simply a date on the calendar marking the unofficial end of summer: a point where the seasons change, children are back in school, and the days start getting shorter.

For me, Labor Day is a time to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions of America’s workers.  Our country’s history has been shaped by the men and women who work for a living.  We are what makes America great, and Monday is our day.

This could not be more true after the roller coaster year we have had.  In New Hampshire we successfully fought back against Right to Work for Less and the attacks on our collective bargaining rights.  The Legislature tried to silence our voice and in turn made us stronger in our solidarity.”

It’s About Power Stupid!: Labor Day: Time to Think Big: “So much of our future hangs in the balance it is difficult not to offer up a set of opinions of what I think we should be doing to reverse the decline of unions and thus reverse the decline in wages, benefits and working conditions for millions of American workers. Literally dozens of Newspapers, Blogs, and more than a few TV shows today highlighted the fact that unions are singularly responsible for the creation of the American middle-class and with the weakening of unions that same middle-class living standard is disappearing.

It is always good to hear our leaders state in so many different ways that we are going to fight like hell to win this years election. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of President Obama’s record on delivering on his commitments to labor, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the cabal of reactionary operatives like Karl Rove and Grover Norquist represent an existential threat to unions. They are committed to waging war on our ability to fight for a fair economy that works for all of us.”

A great story from the daughter of an IBEW (local 134) Member in Illinois

My Father Built This: A Labor Day Reflection – Blogcritics Politics: “My father was a construction electrician. Attending trade school after World War II under the GI Bill (he was in the Army Air Force, serving in North Africa), he then apprenticed through the electrical workers union, the IBEW (Local 134). He made a good wage, especially for a man with only a high school diploma.

He worked hard and long hours, sometimes, always hoping for “overtime,” especially those Sunday, holiday and overnight shifts when he earned “double bubble” wages. He would point with pride as we would sometimes go into Downtown Chicago, traveling from our comfortable, but modest, home in the north suburbs, to the skyscrapers that make Chicago’s skyline one of the most beautiful in the world: the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower), the AON Building (then the Standard Oil Building), the John Hancock Building, McCormick Place, and so many others.”

Outside Democratic Convention 2012, Unions Call To ‘Organize The South’: “As two speakers pointed out, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, like many other Southern Republicans, is no fan of organized labor. At her state of the state speech earlier this year, the governor cited the low unionization rate there as a badge of pride, declaring, “We don’t have unions in South Carolina because we don’t need unions in South Carolina.”

“Coming from the North to the South, phew — it shook me a little bit,” said Lisa Kline, a Charlotte transplant who’s president of Unite Here Local 23, a hospitality workers union that represents employees at the Charlotte airport. “I put the blame on us — we’ve got to find more courage, we’ve got to develop more leaders.”

“Down here, we’re dealing with billion-dollar companies and workers being paid seven-something an hour,” Kline added. “How do they make it? I don’t know.””


Union members show they don’t bite, share values with other working families

(CHARLOTTE, NC, Sep. 3, 2012) – Union members gave out free hugs to the public and took people’s picture as part of a “Hug-A-Thug” action during Carolina Fest.  Union members also handed out “thank you” cards to workers to recognize that, no matter what they do, their work makes America strong.  The hugs and cards were the main attractions at a booth hosted by the North Carolina AFL-CIO to break down stereotypes of who union members are and to showcase ways that work, union or non-union, connects us all.  The booth featured videos about union members active in their communities: hosting food drives, running the Guide Dogs of America program, and union veterans who have come back from Afghanistan and are now rebuilding the Word Trade Center.  During the day, activists promoted the #HugAThug hashtag, the unionhugs.com website, and an interactive online site called workconnectsusall.com.  The “Hug-A-Thug” booth is part of a broad, long-term initiative by America’s unions to be a voice for all working people.

“Working people are in a profoundly unique moment – we’re having a national conversation about inequality, and it has sparked the question of what kind of country we want to be,” said state AFL-CIO President James Andrews.  “We believe it’s absolutely the right moment to reintroduce people to unions and to our shared values about hard work, fairness, and equality.  Through unions, working people have a say in the kind of workplaces and the kind of economy that works for all people, not just the very rich.”



Annie Kuster today released the following statement in celebration of Labor Day:

“As we celebrate Labor Day, we’re reminded of the extraordinary men and women throughout our history who have helped build the largest middle class and most prosperous economy the world has ever known. For more than one hundred years, Americans from all walks of life have marked this day by celebrating with friends and family at parades and cookouts across the country. Today, we continue that tradition and pay tribute to the workers and unions who have done so much to strengthen our communities and country.”

Labor Day Tribute to Transportation Workers

WASHINGTON, DC— Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the following statement in advance of the Labor Day holiday:

“As Americans prepare to take a well-deserved break this Labor Day weekend, we pause to recognize the dedication of those in the public and private sector hard at work helping tens of thousands affected by the wrath of Hurricane Isaac.

“Utility crews and first responders are battling massive floods to restore power and safe living conditions. Transportation workers are delivering urgently needed food and medical supplies to Gulf Coast residents and working to restore normalcy to the region’s mass transit services and highways.

“On this day dedicated to working people, we renew our commitment to making the case for more federal investment in the backbone of the economy: our transportation system and its employees. Neglect is threatening the system and good jobs – reliable and long-term investments will turn it around, boost our economy and put people to work.

“This Labor Day also reminds us that Americans will soon have a choice to make on Election Day – a choice between a President who wants to put millions of Americans to work rebuilding and expanding our failing transportation system and a challenger who has endorsed a plan that would ruin our transportation system and policies that would hollow out the middle class. We will dedicate the next 67 days to making sure our members understand this choice.

“We make a solemn commitment to continue the fight for good jobs, the right to form and join unions and bargain collectively, and to impress upon our federal government and Congress the critical importance of a modern transportation system with a skilled workforce.”

A Labor Day message from DOL Secretary Hilda Solis

A Labor Day message from DOL Secretary Hilda Solis:

“As I mark my fourth Labor Day as the nation’s secretary of labor, I’m inspired by job seekers from all walks of life in this country going back to school and upgrading their skills to match the demands of a 21st century global economy. I’m impressed by communities coming together and new partnerships being formed among employers, labor unions and community colleges. And I’m reminded that for this federal agency and this administration, Labor Day has been, and will always be, every single day.” (from Huffington Post)

Remembering Why We Celebrate Labor Day, by ASC ICG National President Steven Poster

Steven Poster, ASC ICG Local 600 National President, on Labor Day

Next Monday is Labor Day. In between burgers and beers, I hope you’ll take a minute to think about what it means to be in a union.

Here are some of the achievements that the Labor movement has fought for and won:

  • Ending child labor
  • Establishing the legal right of workers to form unions and collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions
  • Winning the 8 hour work day and paid overtime
  • Winning workers’ comp benefits for workers injured on the job
  • Securing unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs
  • Ensuring a guaranteed minimum wage and in many cities a “livable wage”
  • Creating workplace safety standards
  • Winning pensions for many workers
  • Fighting for health insurance for workers and for national health care for all Americans
  • Securing paid sick leave, vacations, family leave and holidays as standard benefits for most workers
  • Winning passage of the Civil Right Acts and Title VII which outlaws job discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • Winning passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Winning passage of the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Winning passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

This is just a partial list of what we owe to those unionists who came before us. Our lives and our careers would be very different if it wasn’t for their courage, activism and solidarity.

Steven Poster, ASC
ICG Local 600 National President


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