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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.

NH Labor 2012 Elections Coverage 7-20-12: O’Brien Bullying Must End, GOP Off On NH Deficit, and more

O’Brien’s bullying, improper behavior must stop – Cabinet.com: “On Sept. 11, voters of Mont Vernon and New Boston will have a choice – keep William O’Brien on the ballot for November’s election or decide that the bullying and improper behavior of the current speaker must stop.

There are so many examples of O’Brien showing disregard for rules and blatant abuse of the speaker’s position to quell the opinions of others and further his own agenda. Countless examples from both Democrats and fellow Republicans can be found through simple web searches (try “O’Brien” “NH” and “power”). These examples illustrate his unwillingness to hear the other side time and time again.”

Work together for citizens’ rights – Cabinet.com: “This is in response to candidate Valerie Ogden’s statement (Hollis Brookline Journal, July 13) that the previous Legislature left the current legislators with a $900 million deficit. If anyone were to check the figures on the ending budget for the biennium, they would see that New Hampshire was left with a $26 million surplus (www.unionleader.

It is this type of repetitive untruth that earned us our current legislators.

What Republican candidates did not mention is an $800 million or $900 million deficit when there was in fact a surplus. If you hear it enough times, you assume it to be true.

I was approached by a man at the transfer station who asked why we spent so much and left a deficit. My answer to him was we left New Hampshire with a $26 million surplus.”

Investigative reporting needed on N.H. politicians | SeacoastOnline.com: “What is with our extremist Legislature’s reputation as a joke nationally and embarrassment locally? The point is not that right-wing conservatives are in our Legislature; as elected officials, they deserve to hold office. The point is that nationally controlled special interest groups, some of whom want to turn the clock back to the 19th century, are telling our elected officials what legislation to present and how to vote.

Ultra-conservative special interest groups such as A.L.E.C. seek to undermine our historic and proud Yankee tradition of independence. I’m dismayed by the complete lack of investigative reporting with regard to outside influences in our legislative body. Why should I have to rely on online news reporting, when we have hardcopy right here in New Hampshire? The names of our representatives, in both houses, should be put in print for all to see. As the election season nears, I hope our state reporters begin to do their jobs, in order to help N.H. citizens become an informed electorate.”

On bus, teacher group sees Obama’s policies as far superior to Romney’s | New Hampshire NEWS04: “He said Romney cut state aid to public education by 9.1 percent, which was the second highest per pupil cut in the nation. Champy also said Romney eliminated the early literacy program and class sizes grew under his administration.

“President Obama has made education a national priority. The President has invested in education, worked to raise K-12 standards, and he has taken steps to make college more affordable so that students from middle-class families can afford the education they need to compete in the global economy,” said Holly Shulman, communications director for the Obama Campaign in New Hampshire. “What Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to understand is that to create true middle-class security, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. A quality education is a fundamental part of President Obama’s plan to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the world.””

Lamontagne, Smith Jockey for Conservative Edge – Nashua, NH Patch: “Lamontagne specifically said the state of New Hampshire should be leading the litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are forcing Seacoast area cities and towns to spend millions of dollars to upgrade their water treatment plants.

“I would do everything as governor to roll back on the federal encroachment on the state of New Hampshire,” Smith said.”

Why tax talk is taxing Americans – Cabinet.com: “By CAROL SHEA-PORTER

Former U.S. representative

This week, Americans were asked to consider two competing visions and choose one. President Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes on higher incomes and keep the tax cuts for the middle class. Mitt Romney and the Republicans want to extend the tax cuts for everyone, including millionaires, saying it will help grow the economy and blaming Obama for increasing deficits. Once again, voters are left wondering what’s fair and who is telling the truth.”

<img align=”top” width=”20″ border=”0″ src=”/Assets/sitegraphics/videoIcon.gif”>Bill Nye’s guy: Popular TV show scientist throws support behind President Obama – Fosters: “President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is calling attention to public education issues this week with a school bus tour and a visit from children’s television host Bill Nye.

Nye, a well-known science educator, visited the Seacoast Science Center in Rye on Monday to discuss President Barack Obama’s commitment to science education. He was accompanied by U.S. Congressman Rob Andrews, D-N.J., a ranking member of the House Committee for Education and the Workforce.

Then on Wednesday, the campaign held a bus tour with five stops around the state, including visits to Portsmouth and Rochester.”


CONCORD, N.H. – Democratic Congressional candidate Annie Kuster has earned the endorsement of the Veterans’ Alliance for Security and Democracy (VETPAC).

“We are thrilled to support Ann McLane Kuster,” said Justin Ford, President of VETPAC. “Ann comes from a military family; her father was a pilot in World War II who was shot down after 63 combat missions and spent time as a POW. Ann has been a tireless advocate for Women’s Issues and children in New Hampshire and she will make fighting for better VA facilities in New Hampshire a top priority in Congress.”

“I am honored to have the support of the courageous men and women of VETPAC,” said Kuster. “We have a solemn obligation to honor and care for the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. As the daughter and daughter-in-law of World War II veterans, I know the tremendous sacrifices veterans and their families make in order to keep our country safe, and I pledge to fight for the high quality care and benefits that they have earned.”


NH Labor News 7-20-12: Unions Hold Key To Future, NH Gop Meet To Block ACA, Lynch Hopes For Middle Ground, and more

Unions’ Past May Hold Key to Their Future – NYTimes.com: “Today, fewer than one in 14 private sector workers belongs to a union, half the portion of 15 years ago. Where unions matter most — fighting for workers’ share of the spoils of economic growth — they lost the battle long ago. Despite soaring worker productivity, the typical American worker takes home today only 2 percent more than a quarter of a century ago, after adjusting for inflation.”

Letter: It’s just not true | Concord Monitor: “Much is being said this election about lowering the taxes of the “job creators” to get the economy going forward. I work at one of the largest manufacturers in New Hampshire, and I can tell you that is a lie.

We have had consecutively the three best profit years ever, and we are not creating new jobs. In fact, we are looking for ways to cut jobs. Why? Because investors expect big returns on their investment.”

Lynch tells seniors he hopes for ‘middle ground’ | SeacoastOnline.com: “EXETER — Gov. John Lynch told a room full of senior citizens Tuesday at RiverWoods retirement community that he hopes the next Legislature will “calibrate itself more toward the middle” for the sake of the state of New Hampshire.

It was while speaking on that last topic that Lynch proclaimed his desire to see the Legislature find a middle ground in the next term. He said it is not an issue of Republicans and Democrats, but rather an issue with a group in Concord that believes in limited or no government.

“Some of them would like to tear down government,” he said.”

Forum Held to Discuss Ways to Fend Off Obamacare – Merrimack, NH Patch: “Each panelist – William O’Brien, the House Speaker; Andrew Manuse, a state rep. from Derry; and Connie Mackey, president of FRCAction PAC – was given several minutes to present their position on the ruling and discuss how the state or, for that matter, the country, can continue to fight the health care program ruling.

Following the panel, the audience was invited to ask the panelists questions.

O’Brien focused his remarks on how the passage of Obamacare will affect the New Hampshire Medicaid system, forcing a massive increase in money the state will have to pay into the system, he said.

“As a state official you have to say we’re going to do whatever we can to prevent that from happening,” O’Brien said.”

Workers ask Romney and Bain for Help:  While Mitt Romney struggles to explain his retroactive retirement from Bain Capital, the company he created keeps off-shoring U.S. jobs. Among them: the jobs of 170 workers in Freeport, Illinois, now training the workers who will replace them when Sensata moves their jobs to China. SEC filings reveal that the U.S. share of Sensata’s workforce has been dropping ever since Bain acquired it in 2006. And the Sensata workers aren’t Bain’s only recent casualties.
Some Sensata employees blame Romney for their impending layoffs. “He designed the business model for that company…” says production associate Tom Gaulrapp, “venture capitalism, where they’re out for every last dollar, no matter what … that’s the attitude they still have.” (The Romney Campaign and Bain Capital did not answer inquiries from Salon.)

Op/Ed: Public Health Up In Smoke – Nashua, NH Patch: “These diseases have terrible individual burdens and high societal cost.

In addition to the individual and social cost of tobacco-related illness, diseases associated with smoking are an expensive burden on our health care system. Treatment for these diseases costs nearly $600 million a year in New Hampshire.”

Merrimack lays out new voter ID law procedure – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Councilor Bill Boyd III asked the officials if voters without ID would be segregated from the rest of those at the polls.
“Absolutely not. If you come in to vote without an ID, you’ll get an affidavit, you’re going to sign it to say, ‘I’m legal, I’m valid,’ ” Christensen answered. “There’s not separation, there’s no photos … there’s nothing to identify that ballot as any different from any other person who is coming in to legitimately vote.”
Post-general election is when the real unknowns of the law could kick in, Christensen said.
“After November, all bets are off. The rules are changing. We’re not going there yet,” she said. “The one wild card in this is the Department of Justice.””

Telegraph wrong on NHDP fact-check – NashuaTelegraph.com: “The Telegraph’s recent fact-check of the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s web ad was inaccurate and misleading. (July 16: “NH Democratic Party misses mark in Web advertisement”)

First, the Telegraph’s fact-check ignored important points in the ad:”

NH Labor 2012 Elections News: NH Teachers Support Obama, NH GOV Dems Debate In Conway, Meet Mr 1%, and more

Teachers Call Romney’s Education Plan ‘Backwards’ [VIDEO] – Portsmouth, NH Patch: “”He wants to return to the same failed policies of the past,” said Scott McGilvery, president of the New Hampshire Education Association. “Romney has it backwards. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.””

Teachers support President Obama | SeacoastOnline.com: “Having been elected to the School Board in March, Muns said Obama’s dedication to education is evident through his attempts at helping states deal with guidelines under No Child Left Behind.

“The fact that the president has been willing to give some states waivers has certainly given those states the ability to come up with whatever meets their needs better,” he said.

Muns said the financial assistance Obama has provided has also gone a long way to aid education.”

Dems take the stage: Differences on tax policy come to fore at forum:
Taking the GOP on

Cilley, an ex-Whitemore School of Business professor at the University of New Hampshire and now a businesswoman, said that since the Republican victories of 2010, she has “watched things I never thought I would see” in the halls of state government.
“They [the Republican-controlled state Senate and House] have created a great deal of damage in our state. They have slashed budgets on programs that our citizens depend on. It has harmed our state in immeasurable ways,” said Cilley, a Berlin native and former factory worker who at age 29 became the first member of her family to graduate from college and who went on to teach for 20 years at UNH.
Explaining her decision to run after Lynch announced he would not seek a fifth term, Cilley said, “We have faced challenges we have never faced before. New Hampshire has weathered the economic storms over the past decade far better than other states. But when I looked at what was happening, I realized that there was long-term systemic damage being done here.””

LETTERS: Changing Name of CEO on Company Like Bain No Oversight – Nashua, NH Patch: “Mr. Romney’s reactions on CNN to comments about his leave from Bain suggest he isn’t ready for the job he is now running for!

Changing the name of a CEO is no oversight for a private capital firm like Bain. Their business is built around names and reputations. The reputation of the management is even more important than the reputation of the firm. And the role of the CEO is the most critical of all. Even for the relatively small investment I was recently involved in, investors insisted on clarity and certainty on the position of the CEO and the key board positions. Our company had to certify that key staff were in place and their labor conditions unchanged, and that even in the last few weeks between the due diligence and the closing of the investment there were no substantial changes made.”

Letter: Two GOP lies | Concord Monitor: “The Republican electoral tsunami of 2010 in New Hampshire was largely based on two lies: that the Democrats were the party of irresponsible taxing and spending, and that New Hampshire does not have a revenue problem but a spending problem.

The figure cited again and again was a 24 percent increase in spending, in the years the Democrats were in the majority in Concord. Even a cursory examination of the facts belies those premises. The spending increase was almost completely accounted for by one-time stimulus funds from the federal government. Of course we spent that – we’re not stupid.”

The AFL-CIO launched a new website on Romney this morning– http://www.aflcio.org/meetromney

The site responds to what we have heard at hundreds of events across the country calling for Washington to Bring Jobs Home: working people want a leader focused on creating jobs for everyone, not just lining his or her pockets. Meet Mr. 1% offers facts about how Romney does, or doesn’t, match up to people’s aspirations.

The website offers details about how Massachusetts suffered during Romney’s single term as Governor there as well as information on what is currently known about his still mysterious record at Bain Capital. It also illustrates the significant costs to working people—and vast benefits to the 1%– of the Romney economic agenda.

Meet Mr. 1% will help working people decipher the enigma that is Mitt Romney and assess whether he is a plausible president for the 99%.

(Here is one video from the new site)
Mr 1%

How Many Tax Returns Did Kelly Ayotte Give Mitt Romney? – Nashua, NH Patch: “”Senator Ayotte is, from everything we know, a credible candidate for vice presidential selection,” said Peter Burling, a Democratic National Committee member from New Hampshire. “She is being thoroughly vetted. Her life story, and, we’re quite sure, her tax history, is being thoroughly vetted. We’re asking for her to tell us how many years of income tax returns she has handed over to the Romney people as part of that vetting process.”

“More importantly,” Burling said, “we’re trying to establish through her a standard by which we can see how many years of tax returns the Romney people think are important in judging a candidate.””

NH Labor News 7/18/12: Unemployment Up, O’Brien Blocking ACA and Medicare Expansion, Memorial Bridge Construction and more

Unemployment Up to 5.1%; Labor Force Bigger than Expected | New Hampshire Public Radio: “The New Hampshire Department of Employment security released the latest New Hampshire unemployment figures for today. Unemployment in June ticked up slightly; rising to a seasonally adjusted 5.1%, up from 5.0% in May.It is still down from where it was last June, when it was 5.5 percent.

Employment Security Economist Annette Nielsen says the increase is due to two factors: 5,000 more workers entered the labor force than this time last year, and fewer seasonal jobs were added than expected.”

O’Brien says Medicaid expansion requires OK from lawmakers | New Hampshire NEWS06: “Since the Supreme Court’s decision, O’Brien has worked to put the brakes on any expansion of the Medicaid program here.

Earlier this month he wrote a letter to state Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas asking that Toumpas inform lawmakers about the program’s possible expansion.

O’Brien was also concerned about a provision in the federal law requiring states to maintain the eligibility standards that were in place March 23, 2010, when the law was signed for both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Soon after the Supreme Court decision was announced, O’Brien removed the lone Democrat on the six-member oversight committee, Rep. Kathleen Taylor, D-Franconia.”

Foundations on N.H.-Maine bridge expected in Sept. – The Boston Globe: “Construction on the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is right on schedule. Archer Western, the main contractor working on the construction, says all the foundations are expected to be completed in September. The firm continues monitoring vibration noise levels in Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine. They have remained at satisfactory levels. The new bridge is expected to be completed by July 2013. The old Memorial Bridge connected the two communities for nearly 90 years.”

Romney Surrogate Unleashed: Obama Needs To ‘Learn How To Be An American’ | TPM2012: “John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire and a leading Romney surrogate, told reporters that Obama’s recent defense of public infrastructure shows he “doesn’t understand how America works.”

“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” Sununu said later….

“The Romney campaign has officially gone off the deep end,” Smith said in a statement. “The question is what else they’ll pull to avoid answering serious questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital and investments in foreign tax havens and offshore accounts. This meltdown and over-the-top rhetoric won’t make things better- it only calls attention to how desperate they are to change the conversation.””

MORE ON John Sununu’s Statements on President Obama. A MUST READ!

John DiStaso’s Granite Status: Sununu: ‘I made a mistake’ saying Obama should ‘learn how to be an American’ | New Hampshire NEWS0602: “SUNUNU LETS LOOSE, THEN BACKTRACKS. Former Gov. John H. Sununu, one of Mitt Romney’s top and most aggressive surrogates and long known in New Hampshire for his blunt approach, found himself in the midst of controversy today for saying that President Barack Obama should “learn how to be an American.”

“I made a mistake,” Sununu, who is also a former White House chief of staff, told the Granite Status shortly after the remarks exploded on the Internet and the Twitter-sphere. “I was referring to the fact that in America, entrepreneurs are the ones that create jobs, not the government.”

Richard Trumka: Romney ‘Doesn’t Know A Thing About Responsibility’: “Speaking to union workers in swing state Nevada, the head of the AFL-CIO is expected to take some big swipes at presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, blasting the candidate as someone who “doesn’t know a thing about responsibility.”

“He doesn’t care about hard work and responsibility,” Richard Trumka, the union federation’s president, will say according to prepared remarks. “Hey, it was profitable for him to bleed companies, kill jobs, end pensions in bankruptcy court and then walk away with millions. What did he care?””

Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears | On Democracy | BillMoyers.com: “That’s why passing a piece of legislation called the DISCLOSE Act is so important and that’s why on Monday, Republicans in the Senate killed it. Again.

Why? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “Perhaps Republicans want to shield the handful of billionaires willing to contribute nine figures to sway a close presidential election.” The election, he said, may be bought by “17 angry, old, white men.”

The DISCLOSE Act is meant to pull back the curtain and reveal who’s donating $10,000 or more not only to super PACs but also to trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and these so-called “social welfare” non-profits that can spend limitless cash on campaigns as long as it’s less than half the organization’s total budget.”

Republican Lawmakers Seek To Block Funding On Black Lung Regulation | New Hampshire Public Radio: “Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have inserted into a broad appropriations bill language that would block funding for a Labor Department effort to reduce the occurrence of black lung, the disease that afflicts coal miners exposed to excessive mine dust.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) proposes cutting in half the limits on coal miners’ exposure to coal dust. The agency’s proposed rulemaking also establishes the use of Personal Dust Monitors which measure dust exposure in real time.”

House Spending Bill Would Slash $6 Billion From Federal Budget | New Hampshire Public Radio: “House Republicans today released a preliminary spending bill that would slash more than six billion dollars from the budgets of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.The draft bill also bans NPR member stations from using federal funds to buy NPR programming.

The draft legislation reduces spending next year on labor, health and education by about three percent overall. It carves out more than $8 billion from programs related to the new healthcare law and it blocks any funds for developing regulations on coal mine dust.”

Second judge rejects state voter ID law – JSOnline: “Madison – A second judge has declared Wisconsin’s voter ID law unconstitutional, further guaranteeing that the ID requirement will not be in place for elections this fall.”

For more information go to PFFNH.org


NASHUA, N.H. – Democratic Congressional candidate Annie Kuster today met with members of the American Federation of Teachers New Hampshire (AFT-NH) at the Nashua Public Library to discuss her commitment to strengthening the middle class and supporting working families in the Granite State. Today’s meeting comes after AFT-NH endorsed Kuster in May 2012.


“I am proud to have the continued support of AFT-NH, and look forward to working with its leaders and members to support working families and strengthen the middle class here in New Hampshire,” said Kuster.

NH Labor News 7/17/12: Firefighter Honored, Doherty Gets Metal, NH Politics, and more

Awards go out for staff in Doherty shooting | New Hampshire NEWS07: “The Manchester patrolman seriously wounded in a gun battle last spring was awarded the Medal of Valor Monday, the department’s highest honor.

Officer Daniel Doherty, 25, was honored for his actions during a March 21 foot chase on the West Side when the man he pursued turned and fired multiple shots at Doherty, striking the officer five times as he fired 10 rounds in return and fell to the sidewalk. Myles Davis of Litfchfield faces attempted murder and related charges.”

DISCLOSE Campaign Spending Act Blocked By Senate Republicans: “WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a bill Monday evening to increase transparency in campaign spending by independent groups.

In a 51-44 vote, the DISCLOSE Act failed to obtain the 60 votes needed to clear a Republican filibuster. The bill would have required disclosure of anyone who donates to independent groups that spent more than $10,000 on campaign ads — or their functional equivalent — and other election spending.”

Job fair to be held at new federal prison in Berlin | Local News – WMUR Home: “BERLIN, N.H. – State officials are expected to hold a job fair at the new federal prison in Berlin.

The job fair is scheduled Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the New Hampshire Works office in Berlin.

Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons are expected to be on hand to discuss job openings, many of which are for corrections officers.”

Letter: Morally repugnant | Concord Monitor: “It seems that Carolyn McKinney has read too much Ayn Rand. In her column, “N.H. in position to resist Obamacare” (Monitor Forum, July 12), she brags about the roadblocks the Legislature has built to prevent the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, recently ruled the law of the land by the Supreme Court.

It reminds me of the South’s response to the federal civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Then, southern governors led the fight against letting the black citizens of their states eat at public lunch counters, attend all-white colleges, and vote. Now McKinney wants New Hampshire to emulate the southern governors who have declared that they will not extend health insurance to all of their citizens by expanding insurance coverage through Medicaid.”

NH senators thank firefighters for work on submarine blaze | New Hampshire NEWS07: “On Monday, U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) came to Prescott Park to recognize those men and women for their efforts over 10 hours that night to prevent further damage to the submarine and loss of life, and extinguish the fire.

On June 7, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution commending the firefighters and emergency personnel of 23 Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut departments who joined forces to keep the flames from reaching nuclear material.”

Democratic candidates for NH governorship see differences | New Hampshire NEWS06: “NASHUA — Before a standing-room-only-crowd, the state’s three Democratic candidates for governor emphasized their stance on various issues on Monday, while criticizing their Republican opponents.

Former state senators Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley, along with former military man Bill Kennedy, participated in a debate at a packed Nashua City Hall, touting their own experiences and opinions they claim make them worthy for the governor’s seat.

“We agree on probably 80 percent of the issues,” Kennedy said of the three Democratic candidates. “But I ask you to look at the other 20 percent.””

Dems hopefuls’ focus anti-GOP – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““This state is definitely on the wrong footing and heading in the wrong direction. (The Republican Legislature) has exacerbated the problem,” Cilley, a small-business owner and business professor from Barrington, told the crowd.
“The 2012 election is the most important election of your lifetime, and mine,” added Hassan, a business attorney from Exeter. “The Republican candidates for governor have both sided with Speaker Bill O’Brien and his extreme Legislature.””

On Obama campaign swing to NH, Science Guy Nye’s views might bring heat | New Hampshire NEWS0605: ” Science Guy Bill Nye, who was in New Hampshire Monday campaigning for President Barack Obama, said he might get heat for his views on global warming.

In fact, he made Obama’s New Hampshire campaign nervous.

At a press conference, Nye said, “I will claim — and people will attack me for this — the extraordinary weather we have this summer is consistent with climate change models.””

Romney to campaign in Granite State on Friday | Politics – WMUR Home: “MANCHESTER, N.H. – Mitt Romney will make a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday, according to Republican sources.

The exact location of the campaign event hasn’t been set in stone yet.

There is also no word on whether the trip will include an announcement from the campaign about a vice presidential running mate.”

Letter: Bass’s scare tactics about health care | Concord Monitor: “My wife and I recently received via the mail a political brochure sent from Congressman Charlie Bass and his secret PAC American Action Network. The content was upsetting to read for it deceptively led readers to believe that their Medicare benefits would be cut due to the Affordable Care Act passed in Congress. Trying to frighten older New Hampshire residents regarding the future of their health care is dishonest.

Having the Affordable Care Act has kept our son, who is under 26 years old, insured. This has saved our family thousands of dollars in additional health insurance premiums. We also have several friends who unfortunately have cancer, but now can not be denied coverage of health care thanks to this law.”

NECA Manger Explains Why Project Labor Agreements Are A Benefit For Everyone

NECA Boston Chapter In Support of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for the Commonwealth Employment, wages, training, on-time project delivery, taxpayer savings are among the many benefits.

by Glenn Kingsbury, Executive Manager, National Electrical Contractors Association Boston Chapter

WEST NEWTON, April 23, 2012 – While Massachusetts’ economy emerges from the Great Recession in better shape than many other states, thousands of people – particularly construction workers – are still unemployed. Thankfully, Gov. Deval Patrick recognizes what some industry insiders, such as the Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts, do not: Project Labor Agreements (PLA) increase employment pathways and save taxpayers money.

An accord between the owner and the contractors, PLAs identify acceptable terms and conditions of employment on a specific construction project. Wages, benefits, schedules, safety expectations and work rules are standardized up front to facilitate the smooth completion of the job on time and on budget. PLAs also foster a positive community impact by encouraging career development, training and outreach programs. They are common around the country, and President Barack Obama endorsed their application on federal projects over $25 million in value. There are well over 20 studies by academia showing PLAs deliver responsible, cost-effective economic development.

Gov. Patrick recently approved a PLA for the $260 million second phase of the Longfellow Bridge reconstruction between Boston and Cambridge. The heavily-used artery over the Charles River carries vehicles, pedestrians and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Red Line subway. Gov. Patrick understands a PLA lays the groundwork for finishing this complex, four-year job as efficiently as possible at a time when commerce relies on stable infrastructure more than ever.

Shining PLA examples are abundant in the Commonwealth. The $80 million Taunton Courthouse was built ahead of schedule and $6 million under budget. UMass Boston’s Integrated Science Building is currently ahead of schedule and surpassed hiring goals for women, minorities and Boston residents. Last summer, contractors rapidly rebuilt 14 bridges on Interstate 93 over just 10 weekends – all early, $30 million cheaper than the non-union bid and with minimal traffic disruptions. Several other Massachusetts entities have utilized PLAs, including the Boston Housing Authority, BristolMyers Squibb, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Fidelity, the New England Patriots, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and Logan International Airport.

Through PLAs, contractors – union or not – receive instant access to uninterrupted, on-demand supplies of trained craftspeople. Similar to a professional office leveraging a staffing agency for administrative support, contractors simply contact centrally-located hiring halls for each trade and competent employees will report for duty as requested. Certified apprenticeships and labor dispatching services are time-tested PLA hallmarks prevalent in the unionized building trades and lend well to complicated projects that require varying amounts of specialized manpower.

Sadly, PLA opponents cannot overcome their anti-union sentiments to see that PLAs prescribe what our recovering economy needs most – local jobs, fair wages, training opportunities and responsible spending of taxpayer funds. The 100-plus Massachusetts-based employer-members of the National Electrical Contractors Association proudly join Gov. Patrick in supporting PLAs for the Commonwealth.

Glenn W. Kingsbury is Executive Manager of the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Greater Boston Chapter. For more information on NECA click here

Former Attorney General Endorsed Jackie Cilley

Highly respected former New Hampshire Attorney General Phil McLaughlin today announced his endorsement of Jackie Cilley’s candidacy for governor. McLaughlin, who considered a run for the corner office earlier in the year, added his voice to growing list of Granite Staters supporting the former state senator.


“I am deeply honored by Phil McLaughlin’s support of my candidacy,” Cilley said in response to the endorsement.  “Phil’s reputation for integrity and outspokenness is something I value tremendously.”


“Phil has a sound grasp of just how New Hampshire’s government works and how it can be improved,” she added.  “We share a commitment to building a 21st Century New Hampshire through investments in those things that make our economy thrive – a first rate education for our young, a sound transportation and communication infrastructure and a clean environment.  I am looking forward to his input into our campaign and policy development.”


“There is nothing fancy about Jackie Cilley. She’s a work horse,  she’s smart, and she’s rooted in this State.  She pledges nothing but straight talk, an open mind and a willingness to confront New Hampshire’s future. Those are the qualities most needed in our next Governor and the reasons that I support her,” said Mr. McLaughlin explaining his decision to support Jackie Cilley.


In a widely-read op-ed printed in the Concord Monitor announcing his decision not to run, McLaughlin laid out the commitments he thought central to the success of New Hampshire’s next governor: “I would work to maintain our just reputation as a safe, healthy and well-educated state. I would work to maintain our road and bridge infrastructure, to fairly fund our community college and university system and to preserve state education aid to local school districts.”


McLaughlin served as New Hampshire’s attorney general from 1997 to 2002. This capped a career in public service that included time on Laconia’s City Council and School Board, as a delegate to New Hampshire’s constitutional convention and, from 1979 to 1981, as Belknap County Attorney. He also served as a Director of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation from 2004 to 2010 and as a member of the Legislative Study Commission on the New Hampshire Death Penalty.

NH Labor News Clips 7/16/12: New NH DOL Chief, PAC’s Play Big in NH, NH Dem in Conway For Debate

NH Labor Dept. chief sworn in to take over helm of embattled state employment security agency: “Copadis has been Labor Commissioner since 2004 and has worked closely with the employment security agency in the past.

“Obviously it’s a challenge,” Copadis said Monday. “I think I’m up for the challenge. I just want to help the department move forward.”

Copadis said his first goal is to meet with agency employees and “calm their fears.”

Reardon suggested in a statement last week that the whistleblower-complaint stems from some disgruntled department employees. Gates has not returned calls and emails seeking comment.”

John DiStaso’s Granite Status: PACs have contributed about $1.8 million to NH congressional hopefuls | New Hampshire NEWS0602: “PAC PERCENTAGES. The four major candidates for the U.S. House received a combined total of $391,174 from political action committees during the second quarter and $1.8 million from PACs overall in the campaign so far, their campaign finance reports show.

The quarterly PAC amount is about half of the total they raised from April 1 to June 30. And overall since the beginning of the 2012 election cycle , the candidates have raised about 36 percent of their money from PACs.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidates to debate in Conway Tuesday night: “he three Democratic gubernatorial candidates are becoming quite familiar with one another on the campaign trail.
Jackie Cilley, Maggie Hassan and Bill Kennedy have been traveling the Granite State engaging in candidate forums, and Tuesday night at the Salyards Center for the Arts in Conway Village they will hold their second such event in 24 hours.
Monday night the three were in Nashua City Hall for the Nashua Democratic Forum which gave residents there a 90-minute glimpse into who the candidates are. Tuesday, Cilley, Hassan and Kennedy have no other campaign stops scheduled in the Mount Washington Valley other than attending the Carroll County Democrats Forum and sharing their vision for the Granite State and their hopes for the future.
The forum sponsored by the Carroll County Democrats is scheduled for 7 p.m., with county Democratic chairman Bob Bridgham serving as moderator.”

Romney charges Obama’s ad attacks ‘misdirected’ – Boston.com: “WOLFEBORO, N.H.—Mitt Romney demanded Monday that President Barack Obama back away from his persistent attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital, advising that it would be better “if you spent some time speaking about your record.”

“What does it say about a president whose record is so poor that all he can do in this campaign is attack me,” Romney said in a nationally broadcast interview.

Obama said an interview that he has run mostly positive campaign ads but said they have not been given much attention in the media.

In his interview on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Romney was asked whether Obama should apologize for a series of statements and campaign commercials suggesting that Romney has not been truthful in his accounts of his record as head of Bain Capital, a private equity firm.”


The release of yesterday’s second quarter FEC report once again shows clear fundraising momentum for Congressional candidate Annie Kuster, and a continued lack of enthusiasm for Congressman Bass’ re-election effort.

“Thousands of voters from across the Granite State are stepping up to support Annie’s candidacy because they know we need a new approach in Washington that’s focused on commonsense solutions to create jobs, strengthen our economy, and grow the middle class,” said Rob Friedlander, Communications Director for Annie Kuster.


  • Q2 total: $483,572
  • Cycle total: $1,899,623
  • Cash on hand: $1.29 million
  • Total donors: 16% PACs, 84% Individuals (15,045 donors)


  • Q2 total: $271,605
  • Cycle total: $1,310,593
  • Cash on hand: $912,790
  • Total donors: 65% PACs, 35% Individuals


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