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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.

An Update From CWA: CWA-Verizon Members Ratify Contract

CWA Members Ratify Verizon Contract (via CWA-union.org) 

CWA members ratified a four-year agreement covering about 35,000 workers from Virginia to New England.

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Contract highlights include an 8.2 percent compounded wage increase over the next three years, and additional cash payments. Also on ratification, CWA members who were fired by Verizon during the August 2011 strike will return to work.

“This contract ensures that every one of our members will see an improvement in their standard of living. It was a tough fight, and we turned back efforts by the company to gut our contracts. Now, we’ll keep up the fight to expand good jobs for Verizon workers,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Chris Shelton, who represents members in New York, New Jersey and New England.

CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney, who represents Verizon workers in the mid-Atlantic States, said, “The unity and determination of CWA and the IBEW over 16 months of bargaining, and the support of our allies, made this contract possible. Our goal now is to make certain that CWA members continue to be a key part of this company’s future.”

The contract had expired in August 2011. A two-week strike, an active member mobilization and support campaign by progressive allies, and final intensive negotiations under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service brought about this settlement. The new contract expires August 2015.

Read more updates from CWA 

Why We Must Return Carol Shea-Porter To Congress

NHLN Note: Carol Shea-Porter is a long time advocate for the middle class and the hard working men and women of New Hampshire.  She worked hard for us in Congress and with your help she can work hard for us again.  Carol lays out in her own words some of the great things she did for New Hampshire in this weeks column.  Legislation like Pell Grants,  Equal Pay, Campaign Finance Reform, and many more.  Listen to what she has to say then you will agree we need to vote for Carol Shea-Porter for Congress on Nov. 6th.

For The Rest Of Us
By Carol Shea-Porter

The 2012 campaign season is rapidly coming to a close. The commercials are as thick and dark and biting as black flies, and mailers warn voters to beware of Candidate X or Y. Just this week, one special interest group bought $2 million dollars of ads against me, which is more than I will spend for my whole campaign. Voters will have to wade through it all and make a decision. I hope they will vote for me for Congress because I care deeply about our state and our country and I will serve the good people of New Hampshire, not special interests.

I am a proud direct descendent of General John Stark, whose words “Live Free or Die” are frequently quoted. My roots are deep, and I know, love, and respect this great little state of ours. I grew up in a Republican family and I remember how New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats could disagree about policy but still come together to serve our communities. I believe we must do that again—walk away from the tea party agenda that divides us and join together with a renewed sense of purpose and unity to tackle our problems. During my four years in Congress, I was known for my advocacy for the middle class, for small businesses, and for the American dream. As the Seacoast Media Group and the Portsmouth Herald said, “Our interests were her interests.” I never accepted corporate PAC or DC lobbyist money. I cosponsored the Fair Elections Now Act and the DISCLOSE Act, because without campaign finance reform, we cannot tame the extraordinary influences of special interests that hurt ordinary Americans. I want to continue my efforts for campaign finance reform in Congress.

I served our military and veterans on the Armed Services Committee. As a former military spouse and proud wife of a veteran, I was especially happy to pass the new GI Bill of Rights that thanks our combat veterans with great education benefits. I introduced the bill to get a full-service VA Hospital or equal access to in-state care, and succeeded in getting more clinics and an acute care contract with Concord Hospital. Right now, New Hampshire does not have a Representative on the House Armed Services Committee, which is especially unfortunate because the current Congress’ vote for the Sequester has put New Hampshire defense jobs and jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in jeopardy. I want to return to the House Armed Services Committee to advocate for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, its defense mission, and their incredible workforce.

Serving on the Education and Labor Committee, I cosponsored legislation that cut student loan interest rates in half and increased Pell grants for students. I cosponsored the minimum wage increase, which became law, and cosponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restores a woman’s right to challenge unfair pay, also now the law of the land. I want to serve New Hampshire workers, small businesses, and families again in Congress.
I stood up for the New Hampshire environment. From the Ossipee Pine Barrens to land preservation around Great Bay, from the Presidential Range to clean water, I worked for funding to study and protect our environment.

I held seminars and workshops to help small businesses, including one in Manchester in 2010 to help small defense contractors compete for federal contracts that drew more than 150 people. I voted for the Small Business Jobs Act and eight small-business tax cuts. The Seacoast Media Group and the Portsmouth Herald wrote in their endorsement, “Voters who value bipartisanship will remember Shea-Porter’s outstanding work with her Republican colleagues from Maine and New Hampshire to safeguard funding for the new Memorial Bridge and much needed upgrades at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.”

We passed the health care law, saved the American auto industry and all of its jobs, and prevented a Depression. All of these were great accomplishments. But now we need to grow the economy, reduce the debt, protect Medicare from being changed to a voucher program, and help young people get an education and their piece of the American dream. I know we can do it—it is in the American DNA to tackle problems and succeed. I want to work on these issues for the rest of us.  I would be honored to receive your vote on November 6th.

Wear Jeans? Why Made In America Matters To You

This is a cross post written by Celeste Drake,  Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist at the AFL – CIO.

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“Buy American.”  “Made in America.”  In today’s interconnected world, those ideas might seem more like leftovers from the Cold War – not important maxims for America’s future.  After all, young Americans are drinking Colombian coffee in the morning, skyping with friends in the UK at lunch, buying a made-in-China iPhone in the afternoon, and drinking Italian wine in the evening.  The idea of “Buying American,” or economic patriotism, might seem quaint, if not outright ridiculous.

Fact is, making things in America isn’t an obsolete idea.  It’s how we built this country into the largest economy the world has ever seen.  And it’s imperative for America’s future.

In 2011, the US had a trade deficit of nearly $560 billion, fully $295 billion of which was a deficit in goods trade with China.  These deficits are not just about dollars; they represent our ability as a nation to make the things we consume and the products and technology we need to defend ourselves.  The iPhone may represent itself as proudly “designed in the USA,” but for how long?  Eventually, the designers and engineers want to be close to the production lines—it’s simply more efficient.  And if none of those production lines are in the US, the good design and engineering jobs soon won’t be either.  And for those of us concerned about job creation, giving up on manufacturing is simply silly—there’s not a one-to-one relationship between designers and those who physically make the product anyway.

When we rely on other countries to make the products we want—from food to clothing to computers, our own capabilities and technical, innovative, and productive capacity decline.  The US did not become the wealthiest country in the world by accident.  It happened because of deliberate policy choices, hard work, and ambition.  We can ensure there are good jobs, with decent pay and benefits, for Americans of all levels of education and ability, but we need that hard work and ambition—the right policy choices—and to avoid accepting that the current state of affairs is the best we can do.

We can each do our part to contribute to that better future, with better jobs and a better economy.  And it’s not even that hard.  Some of us are doing it already.  Your neighbor who’s obsessed with organic foods, who only buys locally grown produce?  She’s doing it.  And your hipster friend, who refuses to shop at giant chain stores or eat at chain restaurants?  He’s doing it.  (In fact, as blogger Starre Vartan notes: as large, multi national corporations continue to move jobs overseas in order to take advantage of weak protections for workers and the environment, “hipster entrepreneurs might be the only ones employing Americans to make things 20-30 years from now.”).  Or, as Will Oremus argued recently on The Hive, some bigger businesses like Whole Foods, Etsy, and Kickstarter are helping to revive American manufacturing—which means job creation—as well.

For most younger Americans, our biggest expenses are food, housing, and clothing (and of course education if we’re paying tuition or paying off student loans).  In all of these purchases, we can make choices that create jobs here in the US, putting more money in Americans’ pockets, which creates demand, which means businesses boom, more jobs are created, and so on.  It’s called the virtuous circle.  And here’s how we can make it happen:

·       Housing: Housing is a classic “buy American” product.  New housing, and maintenance and repairs on existing housing stock, create jobs for our neighbors.

·       Food: The USDA says that every million dollars in sales through local markets supports thirteen US jobs.  You can be part of that.  When possible, consider shopping at farmer’s markets or local stores that keep the money in your community.  Look for US-raised meat and locally-grown produce—you can often find American-grown food that is also organic, hormone-free, or has whatever other feature you are looking for.

·       Clothing: Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of clothing lines whose manufacturing facilities are right here in the USA.  In fact, the Los Angeles Times says it’s a growing trend.  So next time you need a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, or just the right top, don’t overpay for fashion created under sweatshop conditions in Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.  Instead consider Youth MonumentCitizens of Humanity, Certified Jeans, or any of dozens of other brands that sew their clothes here.

·       Use websites herehere, and here to find US-made products you like, in your price range, and help the US economy while you shop!

Buying American isn’t just an antiquated idea.  Our future as a nation depends on reviving our economy to create good jobs that allow those who put in a fair day’s work to receive a fair day’s pay: to raise families and send the next generation to college.  By supporting American manufacturers, we can all do our part to be America’s real job creators.  For more ideas on reviving the American economy, go tohttp://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Jobs-and-Economy/Economy.

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Celeste thank you for your valuable insight and perspective regarding while American Manufacturing is important. We hope to have more guest blog posts from her in the future. You should follow her on twitter here: http://twitter.com/CDrakeFairTrade.

Maggie Hassan Endorsed by the New Hampshire Police Association

New Hampshire’s Police Officers Say Hassan Has Right Priorities for Public Safety  

MANCHESTER – Citing her strong record on issues important to law enforcement and her commitment to public safety, the New Hampshire Police Association endorsed Maggie Hassan for Governor today.

“After listening to and evaluating the records of both candidates for governor, in addition to what the New Hampshire Police Association feels is best not only for the members of its association, but NH’s Law Enforcement community in general, the New Hampshire Police Association is proud to endorse Maggie Hassan for Governor because we know that she has the right priorities and is committed to working with law enforcement to keep New Hampshire safe for our families,” said Sergeant David Young, President of the New Hampshire Police Association.

“Maggie Hassan has a strong record of working to keep New Hampshire the safest state in the nation and fighting to pass legislation that helps protect all of our families,” Young said.

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the New Hampshire Police Association,” said Hassan.  “As governor, I will continue working closely with New Hampshire law enforcement to keep our communities safe and keep our state moving forward.”

Hassan is the clear choice for New Hampshire public safety, having also been endorsed by the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association, the Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association, the Concord Police Patrolmen’s Association, and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. As a leader in the State Senate, Hassan worked to pass the toughest law in the nation to protect children from sexual predators; to increase the number of state troopers; and to establish a Reverse 911 system that allows law enforcement to notify citizens of an emergency.

Ovide Lamontagne has said New Hampshire needs a governor who will work with Speaker Bill O’Brien. Under Bill O’Brien’s leadership the House has cut funding for the Children in Need of Services Program, which helps keep young people from landing in prison; allowed guns in the State House; and passed – over Gov. John Lynch’s veto – a bill that allows people to open fire in public, even if there are safer options. They have also proposed to end all gun licensing and even to allow guns in courthouses and college dorm rooms.

The NH AFL-CIO Labor 2012 Create A New Music Video Called ‘Romnesia’

If fun, its campy, and it is all true.

The NH AFL-CIO and union members from many organizations throughout the state have been working out of the NH AFL-CIO office.  They have been stuffing envelopes and making phone calls to ensure that union members what a ‘President Romney’ would be like.

While Mitt Romney’s flip-flops are becoming more and more widely known, the people working on the Labor 2012 campaign in New Hampshire, took a break to have a little fun with ‘Romnesia’.

The song written and sung by local musician and union member Chris Howe.   You can see Howe’s band The Paulies all around southern New Hampshire.  Check them out on Facebook as well.

(the video was uploaded by Chris Howe and no official endorsement has come from the NH AFL-CIO office)

Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood) Calls Maggie Hassan a Champion for Women’s Health

Blasts Ovide Lamontagne’s Radical Ideas That Will Increase Health Care Costs for Women and Families

CONCORD – Cecile Richards, the President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund*, praised Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan as a “longtime champion of women’s right to control their own health care” at a Women for Maggie press conference today.  Richards and Hassan were joined by Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen, House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli, and numerous Women for Maggie members who came out to show their support for Maggie Hassan’s vision to keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward by including everyone as equals.

“The stakes for women’s health and rights are higher than ever in this election, and I am proud to support Maggie Hassan for governor of New Hampshire,” said Richards.  “Access to affordable health care, including birth control, is a basic economic issue for women and families. Ovide Lamontagne is far outside the mainstream on women’s health, and New Hampshire can’t afford his extreme agenda. Maggie Hassan will stand up to the Tea Party agenda and she has the right plan to keep New Hampshire moving forward.”

Ovide Lamontagne has tried to dismiss issues related to “reproductive rights … whatever those are.” In response to questions from voters, he has said, it is not “topical” and not “central” to the campaign, and criticized people for raising the issue. He has even tried to suggest that a Governor couldn’t impact access to birth control or abortion, although his allies have already filed legislation that would ban abortion in the first six weeks.

“We face a clear choice in this election. ” said Hassan.  “My ‘Innovate NH’ jobs plan focuses on making sure all of our citizens can participate equally in our economy.  Ovide thinks women should sacrifice their freedom, their economic security and control over their health care to his radical agenda. I believe that we can have a strong economy, create jobs and still protect the freedom and liberty of all of our citizens. In this election, we can either move forward, building on the foundation established by Governor Lynch, to help our businesses and families succeed, or we can go radically backward in the direction proposed by Ovide Lamontagne and the Tea Party legislature.”

Like Ovide Lamontagne, the current legislature claimed that it was focused on “jobs and the economy,” and then pushed numerous bills aimed at restricting access to abortion; defunding Planned Parenthood; and letting insurance companies drop coverage for birth control.

“The only thing slowing down some of these bills was the promise of a veto from Governor John Lynch. Just like this legislature, Ovide Lamontagne is not being straight with us about what he would do as Governor,” said House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli. “While he has repeatedly said women’s health care issues don’t matter, Ovide Lamontagne has confessed that he will sign any anti-choice legislation that comes to his desk – even if it banned abortion for victims of rape and incest.”

Ovide Lamontagne has been endorsed by the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List, and has long supported an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban abortion, even for the victims of rape and incest. He has said he would sign legislation defunding Planned Parenthood and bills restricting access to abortion.

“The good news is that women don’t have to choose between their health care and the economy. Maggie Hassan has a plan to build our economy and support the efforts of our businesses to create jobs – without sacrificing the health care or equality of women,” said Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen.

Maggie Hassan has a strong record of standing up for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and strongly opposes the legislature’s recent attacks on women’s health care, such as measures to restrict the right to choose and to defund Planned Parenthood, making services like cancer screenings, fertility treatments, and access to birth control more expensive and less available.

Hassan’s “Innovate NH” jobs plan will help businesses grow and keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward by focusing on education to build the best workforce in the country, providing tax credits to businesses, and giving businesses technical assistance to help them create jobs.

Ovide Lamontagne has said he would be a “radically different” governor than Governor Lynch, with extreme positions like repealing the guarantee of public kindergarten; rejecting federal funds for local schools;  and ignoring rising tuition costs caused by cuts to higher education. He supports plans to dismantle Medicare, criminalize abortion – even in the case of rape or incest – and limit insurance coverage for birth control, and defund Planned Parenthood, increasing costs for critical health care services for New Hampshire women and families.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On The Final Presidential Debate

 

From WIKIPediaFor working Americans, the choice for president couldn’t be clearer – and last night brought that home decisively. President Obama’s vision for America begins with shared prosperity for all. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he’s committed to creating good jobs, rebuilding our middle class, investing in manufacturing, enforcing our trade laws and keeping our nation safe.

Governor Romney’s record, in contrast, shows that he can’t be trusted to act in our national interest in any number of areas, especially in trade and manufacturing. This is a man who built his fortune outsourcing jobs and getting tax breaks for sending jobs offshore. When Bain Capital took over Sensata Technologies in Freeport, Illinois, management announced it would shut down the factory and move the jobs to China.  Management took down the American flag and required employees to train the Chinese workers who would eventually get their jobs. Only when the Chinese workers left did management raise the American flag again. This is Romney’s world.

If Mitt Romney had been president in 2009, he would have let Detroit and the U.S. auto industry go bankrupt, jeopardizing 2 million jobs. And when President Obama took decisive action in 2009 to enforce our trade laws, imposing tariffs on Chinese tires to protect American jobs, Mitt Romney leaped in to criticize him. Expecting Mitt Romney to get tough on China is like asking his left hand to slap his right hand. We need a president who makes job creation his number one priority – and we need those jobs in the United States of America, not in other countries.

New Hampshire Troopers Association Endorse MAGGIE HASSAN for NH GOV

Via Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/NHTroopers

Hassan the Troopers  Choice for Improving Public Safety

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Troopers’ Association Endorsed Maggie Hassan for governor today, calling her the only choice for governor when it comes to improving the safety of New Hampshire’s communities.

“Maggie Hassan has the trust of law enforcement because she has a record of standing up for public safety and supporting policies that help us protect New Hampshire’s communities,” said Seth Cooper, President of the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association.  “Maggie is our choice for improving public safety and the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association is proud to endorse her for governor.”

Hassan has also been endorsed by the Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association, the Concord Police Patrolmen’s Association, and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. As a leader in the State Senate, Hassan worked with public safety officials on critical priorities, including creating a death benefit for first responders killed in the line of duty, directing the Department of Safety to develop a reverse 911 system so that first responders can reach citizens in an emergency, strengthening domestic violence laws, and working with Governor John Lynch to pass one of the toughest laws in the nation to protect children from sexual predators.

“There is no more important job for a governor than ensuring the safety of New Hampshire residents, and it is an honor to receive the endorsement of the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association,” said Hassan. “As governor, I will build on the foundation set by Governor Lynch, working closely with law enforcement to improve public safety and keep New Hampshire moving forward.”

In contrast, Ovide Lamontagne has been a vocal supporter of the current legislature and its policies, which are making it harder for law enforcement to keep New Hampshire safe, including passing an “Open Fire” law that allows people to open fire on public streets, even when there are safer options and decimating funding for the Children in Need of Services program that allows parents and law enforcement to intervene and help a child before they begin engaging in criminal activities. They have also proposed eliminating all gun licensing, and even allowing guns in college dorm rooms.

 

UPDATED to include picture from Maggie Hassan Facebook Page

Statement from Maggie Hassan on Ovide Lamontagne’s Opposition to Equal Pay Laws

MANCHESTER – Earlier today it was reported that Ovide Lamontagne voiced opposition to laws that require equal pay in the workplace for men and women, stating “I don’t know that it’s appropriate for the government to continue to micromanage the workplace.” Ovide went on to indicate that he was unaware New Hampshire law intended to require pay equity between men and women. [ThinkProgress.org, 10/22/12]

In response to Lamontagne’s comments, Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement:

“Ovide’s comments should concern all hard working Granite Staters who are trying to earn a living to support their family. Pay discrimination is making it harder for families to make ends meet across the State of New Hampshire, with women earning only 65 cents on the dollar compared to men. Ensuring that everyone receives equal pay for an equal day’s work is hardly micromanaging, it’s basic fairness.  And Ovide’s lack of knowledge of New Hampshire’s twelve-year old pay equity law only proves just how out of touch he is with the needs of working men and women.  I strongly support equal pay laws, and as governor, I will work to keep our state moving forward, while it becomes clearer every day just how much Ovide’s radical ideas will hurt families and take New Hampshire backwards.”

NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie on Scott Walker’s Re-Endorsement of Ovide Lamontagne for Governor

With his most recent endorsement, emailed to New Hampshire voters today, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is again telling us that Ovide Lamontagne would make New Hampshire more like Walker’s Wisconsin. That is probably a good choice for extremists, but a terrible choice for New Hampshire’s middle class families.

 

Governor Walker made a name for himself stripping teachers, firefighters and nurses of their rights and bankrupting the state in the name of an extreme, right wing agenda. Under Walker, class sizes increased and nearly 23,000 people lost their healthcare because of Medicaid cuts while millionaires alone got a huge tax cut. His economic agenda sent the state into a tailspin, wiping out 12,500 jobs in his first year in office alone.

 

It’s clear that Ovide Lamontagne plans to follow the same extreme path. In fact, he has already said that he would chip away at our rights at work with a right-to-work for less law. He has already pledged to reject federal money for our public schools and raise taxes for the middle class to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. Lamontagne has made it clear that he would be “radically different” than New Hampshire Governor John Lynch by claiming that he would be “Scott Walker” if elected. His continued reliance on his extremist pal Walker proves the point.

 

We do not need Scott Walker’s policies in New Hampshire. Scott Walker’s endorsement makes it clear that Ovide Lamontagne does not understand New Hampshire priorities and would be a dangerous choice for workers.

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