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Brackett to be sworn in as new NH AFL-CIO President

Glenn Brackett NH AFLCIO

Concord – Glenn Brackett will be sworn in today as the new President of the NH AFL-CIO. The former Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320 was elected to a 4-year term, succeeding long-time President Mark Mackenzie. The NH AFL-CIO is the largest labor federation in New Hampshire, representing more than 26,000 workers in both the public and private sectors from more than 40 unions.

Brackett issued the following statement:

“I am very proud to take the reins of this great organization. Former President Mackenzie has done more than anyone I know to advance the cause of working men and women here in New Hampshire, and I look forward to carrying forward his legacy of progress and steadfast leadership.

Working men and women in the Granite State deserve leaders that will fight hard for their best interests in Concord and in Washington, DC. They deserve a President who will work with our allies to advance the cause of working people, but who will never back down from a fight when big corporations and politicians put profits ahead of people. And most importantly, they deserve an AFL-CIO that listens to its members and to workers across this great state, and that makes sure everyone’s voice is heard. Those are the values that I’m committed to upholding as President.”

Glenn is the outgoing Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320, where he recently led more than 600 local workers in a successful 130-day strike to secure a landmark agreement with FairPoint Communications, winning major compromises that benefited workers’ health, safety, and security. Glenn is a 1976 graduate of Gorham High School, and currently lives in Northwood with his family.

Seniors To Endorse Maureen Mann For NH House District 32

NH ARA Logo Retired AmericansTowns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham

Deerfield – New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans will endorse former NH State Representative Maureen Mann in her bid for re-election to House district 32.

Lucy Edwards, President of our New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans stated, “New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans recognizes Maureen Mann’s commitment to public service. She is a true a champion for education, business and economic development and our environment. With proven ability to work across the aisle in the New Hampshire State House, Mann is our only choice”.

Please join us:

WHO: New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans members and friends

WHAT: Endorsement ceremony for Maureen Mann

WHERE: Old Town Hall 10 Church St. Deerfield NH

WHEN: Monday May 11 @ 11 a.m.


New Hampshire Alliance of Retired Americans represents over 13,000 New Hampshire citizens. For more information on the NH Alliance for Retired Americans visit: http://nhallianceforretiredamericans.blogspot.com/


Kuster Announces $250,000 Rural Community Development Initiative Grant to Northern Forest Center

Grant will allow the Center to help support economic development in the North Country

Ann kuster head shot LGWASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02) today announced that the Northern Forest Center has received a $250,000 Rural Community Development Initiative Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The Center will use the funding to provide technical assistance to the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) in support of NCIC’s economic development services across the North Country.  The grant will assist the Northern Forest Center and NCIC in improving the food system network in the North Country.

“The Northern Forest Center and the Northern Community Investment Corporation are doing phenomenal work helping to support economic growth and job creation in an area of the state that really needs it,” said Congresswoman Kuster.  “This grant will help these two organizations improve the food system network in the region, which will boost local economies and increase access to natural, delicious foods grown right here in New Hampshire.   I congratulate the North Forest Center on this grant award and thank them for all of their work on behalf of economic development and sustainability in the North Country and around our state.”

“Our agricultural, tourism, and forest product businesses are so important to the economy in northern New Hampshire and northeastern Vermont,” said Rob Riley, President of the Northern Forest Center. “This grant from USDA will enable the Northern Forest Center and NCIC to continue providing support and innovation services to these working lands businesses.  We value USDA Rural Development as a key partner in this work, and are grateful their support.”

The Rural Community Development Initiative Grant program supports private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low income rural communities to improve housing, community facilities, community and economic development projects in rural areas.

NEXTGEN Clinate NH Announces Earth Week 2015 Events Across The Granite State. 

MANCHESTER, N.H.—This week, NextGen Climate will be hosting a series of events on college campuses throughout New Hampshire to celebrate Earth Week and mobilize Granite State voters around the issue of climate change ahead of the 2016 election cycle.


“In the fight against climate change and the anti-science politicians who prevent action on the issue, students are among our most important advocates,” said Pete Kavanaugh, Senior Advisor for NextGen Climate New Hampshire. “With so many great events planned, Earth Week 2015 is the perfect way to kick off our efforts at New Hampshire’s colleges and universities. Climate action voters played a critical role in the Granite State in 2014, and we’re excited to continue working with Granite State students in the coming weeks and months.”


Events this week will include:


Wednesday, April 22

·      University of New Hampshire: EarthFest kick-off, with events from 1:00–8:00 p.m. at the UNH FishBowl

·      Oyster River High School: Do the Math Event, 12:30–2:30 p.m. 


Thursday, April 23

·      University of New Hampshire: EarthFest continues, with events from 4:00–10:00 p.m. at the UNH FishBowl


Friday, April 24

·      University of New Hampshire: EarthFest continues, with events from 7:00–10:00 p.m. at the UNH FishBowl

·      Dartmouth University: Farm Fresh Friday, 3:00–6:00 p.m. at Beta Lawn on Webster Avenue


Saturday, April 25

·      University of New Hampshire: EarthFest continues, with events from 1:00–10:00 p.m. at the UNH FishBowl in front of Scott Hall

·      Keene State College: SolarFest, hosted by Campus Ecology, from 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. at 229 Main Street

·      Plymouth State University: Earth Jam, from 12:00–10:30 p.m. on the Hub Green

·      Saint Anselm College: Barbecue, 12:00–2:00 p.m., location TBD


Sunday, April 26

·      University of New Hampshire: SolarFest, from 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on the UNH Boulder Field


For the latest updates on NextGen Climate in New Hampshire, follow us onTwitter and our official blog.

Tell Congress NO To Fast Track: A Special Message From AFT

This is a special message from AFT Secretary Treasurer Loretta Johnson.


Yesterday, I spoke at a rally here in D.C., where hundreds gathered to urge Congress to put the brakes on “fast-track” trade deals that will hurt American workers. I don’t need to convince you that transparency is important when it comes to making decisions about our economy, jobs, safety and the environment. Unfortunately, just a few hours ago, the Senate introduced legislation that undercuts the public’s voice on free trade agreements through this fast-track legislation.

Click here to tell Congress NO to fast-track.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated in secret between the United States and 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. And legislation granting fast-track authority would enable corporate power-grabs like the TPP to be rushed through Congress, circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures.

The TPP will create rules and obligations that govern an estimated 40 percent of the world’s economy, yet few Americans are aware of its impact or even its existence. Unfortunately, the last 20 years of corporate-driven free trade policy have created a downward spiral in which jobs have been shipped overseas and worker, environmental and consumer protections have been eroded.

We cannot allow corporate interests to determine trade policy like the TPP. We must urge Congress to fend off the corporate call for fast-track.

Smart trade policy has the potential to promote shared global prosperity, which is why our communities—NOT multinational corporations—must be the driving force in shaping trade policy.

Please urge your members of Congress to protect our economy, jobs, environment and public health by opposing fast-track legislation.

In unity,

Lorretta Johnson

AFT Secretary-Treasurer

One more thing: Would you help us by sending this tweet?: To preserve & protect US jobs Congress must stop Fast Track for the TPP! #StopFastTrack

AFT’s Weingarten: Walker Will Say and Do Anything to Attack Workers

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Gov. Scott Walker’s signing of the so-called right-to-work bill in Wisconsin:

“During his campaign for governor, Scott Walker promised not to amp up his attacks on workers. But when he decided to run for president, he kicked that commitment to the curb. In the last two weeks, he has compared working people to ISIS, has celebrated President Reagan’s bust of the air traffic controller strike as a ‘significant foreign policy decision,’ and now has signed into law a bill that will drive down wages, destroy good jobs and break the backs of unions. By his actions and statements, Walker has revealed that his plan to win the Republican nomination is a willingness to say and do anything to attack and tear down workers. It’s cynical and sad, and will ultimately fail.

“Scott Walker fails the test of common decency and common sense. If you want good jobs, then you also must stand up for the workers who hold them. If you want a strong middle class, then you can’t take out the unions that built it. If you want higher wages, then workers need a voice.

“Governors of our nation, you have a decision to make. You can take your state the way of Wisconsin, where Gov. Walker’s attacks on workers and tax cuts for the wealthy have landed the state, which is ranked 32nd for business and 27th in economic climate, with a $2 billion deficit. Or you can look over to Minnesota, where Gov. Mark Dayton has stood with workers and raised taxes on the wealthy few. Minnesota has a $1 billion surplus and is ranked in the top 10 in the nation for business and economic climate.

“The workers of Wisconsin are resilient. They will continue to fight back and wait until they have a governor who will work with them, not work to break them.”

So-Called Right-to-Work Law an Assault on Working People in Wisconsin

Statement of Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA 

Washington, D.C. – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s action to sign so-called “right-to-work” into law:

With today’s attack on the middle class by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, half of the states in our nation have now implemented so-called “right-to-work” legislation. That leaves only half of the country in states where working people have the freedom to prosper by joining together in unions.

The tide of anti-prosperity legislation, financed by far-right extremist tycoons who buy governors such as Walker, is particularly an assault on those who work with their hands and service the great state of Wisconsin. It is by having the freedom to join together in a union that construction workers build careers, earn family-supporting pay and stay safer on the job. It is through unions that wage disparities are reduced or eliminated. 

As the Wisconsin governor darts around the world seeking money for his Presidential campaign, he has made clear that his vision for America is one of dramatically increased income inequality, class warfare waged by the rich, and shrinking rights for all but a wealthy elite.

We will continue to inform and mobilize our members to fight for America. Our country is not about deceptive slogans and low-wage work, but rather about opportunity and the freedom of our families to prosper. 


The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America. 


Governor Hassan’s Statement on Senate Transportation Committee Rejecting Bill to Give New Hampshire Residents Choice on Drivers’ Licenses

Governor Directs Division of Motor Vehicles to Begin Notifying Renewal and New License Applicants that New Hampshire Driver’s Licenses May Not Be Accepted at Federal Facilities

CONCORD – Following a vote yesterday by the Senate Transportation Committee to recommend killing Senate Bill 262, legislation that would give New Hampshire residents a choice whether to obtain a federally accepted driver’s license or other identification card, Governor Maggie Hassan directed the Division of Motor Vehicles to begin notifying applicants for new licenses and license renewals that their New Hampshire driver’s license may not be accepted at some federal buildings, and may not be accepted for air travel as early as 2016.

In addition, Governor Hassan also today wrote New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation urging them to seek further extensions for New Hampshire under the federal secure identification law, known as REAL ID.

The federal government notified New Hampshire in late November that it would begin implementing the federal REAL ID law on a rolling basis and that New Hampshire identifications would not be accepted. After discussions with the leadership of the House and the Senate, Governor Hassan and the Department of Safety worked with Senator Donna Soucy to introduce legislation that would give New Hampshire residents the choice of whether or not to get a federally accepted license.

“This common-sense legislation would give Granite Staters the choice to obtain a license or identification card that is compliant with federal requirements for acceptance in certain facilities, or to instead receive a driver’s license that will only remain acceptable for state use,” Governor Hassan said. “I certainly understand the Senate Transportation Committee’s hope that the federal government is just crying ‘wolf,’ but given the potential consequences to New Hampshire citizens, it is important that we make sure that they have all of the information. Therefore, I have asked the Division of Motor Vehicles to begin notifying applicants for new license and license renewals that their New Hampshire driver’s license may not be accepted at federal buildings and, beginning as early as 2016, may not be accepted for travel on airplanes.”

Under current law, New Hampshire driver’s licenses are not compliant with federal requirements and may not be accepted for entrance into federally secure facilities, such as the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, federal buildings, and –  no sooner than 2016 – may not be accepted for travel on airplanes. Senate Bill 262 would give New Hampshire residents the option to obtain a driver’s license or other identification card that will be accepted for entrance into these facilities, or to not obtain such a license and receive one that is just acceptable for state use. Without this legislation, New Hampshire residents could be required to obtain a federal passport in order to enter secure facilities or to travel on airplanes.

New Hampshire licenses and identification cards had been accepted for use at certain federal facilities under an extension waiver from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but DHS indicated in a letter last November that there was not adequate justification for another extension and beginning in January of this year, federal agencies may not accept New Hampshire licenses and other identification cards for official purposes.

Governor Hassan also submitted a letter in support of Senate Bill 262 to the Senate Transportation Committee.

The letter from DHS and a list of identification provisions with which New Hampshire is compliant and non-compliant are attached. For more information on the DHS enforcement schedule, visit http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

The federal government has issued the following schedule for phased-in enforcement:

Phase 1            Restricted areas (i.e., areas accessible by agency personnel, contractors, and their guests) for DHS headquarters in Washington   April 21, 2014

Phase 2            Restricted areas for all Federal facilities & nuclear power plants       July 21, 2014

Phase 3            Semi-restricted areas (i.e., areas available to the general public but subject to ID-based access control) for most Federal facilities       January 19, 2015

3a        Facility Security Levels 1 and 2         January 19, 2015

3b        Facility Security Levels 3, 4, and 5, and  military facilities

October 10, 2015

Phase 4            Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft

A driver’s license or identification card from a noncompliant state may only be used in conjunction with a second form of ID for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft      No sooner than 2016


Governor Hassan’s full letters to the congressional delegation and the Senate Transportation Committee is below:


The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen

506 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Senator Shaheen:


As you may be aware, the Department of Homeland Security has not extended New Hampshire’s waiver under the federal REAL ID law, passed by Congress under then-President George W. Bush. As communicated by the federal government, this will have serious consequences to New Hampshire citizens, who may find themselves unable to enter certain federal facilities or to travel on airplanes beginning as early as 2016.


New Hampshire passed a law forbidding its participation in REAL ID, but unlike other states that have similar laws, this year New Hampshire was notified that the federal government would not continue our waiver. The Department of Homeland Security tells us we differ from those states in two key aspects: we allow drivers to delete their photos from the state’s motor vehicle system and we allow drivers to delete their Social Security Numbers from the state system.


Although only a small percentage of drivers choose those options, the Department of Homeland Security has informed New Hampshire that because these options exist, and because New Hampshire’s Division of Motor Vehicles is forbidden from identifying licenses based on compliance with REAL ID, it did not believe there was adequate justification to extend New Hampshire’s REAL ID waiver. The Department of Homeland Security has also released a phased enforcement schedule that began with the most secure federal facilities and will, according to their schedule, culminate with rejecting New Hampshire driver’s licenses for use in travel beginning sometime in 2016.


The New Hampshire Senate Transportation Committee recently rejected proposed legislation that would have allowed New Hampshire citizens to choose whether to have a federally accepted license. If the New Hampshire Legislature follows the Committee’s lead, New Hampshire citizens won’t be able to make an individual choice on obtaining a federally compliant license, so I am asking you to request that the Department of Homeland Security extend New Hampshire’s waiver, and if the department is unable to continue that waiver under federal law, to file legislation to repeal the REAL ID requirements.


Under both current federal and state laws, New Hampshire citizens may find themselves blocked from travel without warning – whether for a business trip, a vacation or a family emergency. Lack of access to federally accepted identification could also hurt our businesses whose employees must travel to meet clients in other states, and it may also make us less attractive to new businesses that are dependent on travel.


The lack of REAL ID-compliant identification could become a major burden for New Hampshire citizens and business, and I urge you to do whatever is in your power to mitigate these consequences. Thank you for your consideration.


With every good wish,




Margaret Wood Hassan




cc:        Senator Kelly Ayotte

Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Congressman Frank Guinta


Southwest Baggage Handlers to Protest as Airline Receives “Airline of the Year” Award

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

Employees Baffled by Honor for Airline with Increasingly Hostile Labor Relations 

WASHINGTON – Workers who handle baggage at Southwest Airlines, members of TWU Local 555, will protest at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC

Today, February 25th when Southwest Airlines receives the “Airline of the Year” award from Air Transport World magazine.

Who:  More than 100 ground workers employed at Southwest Airlines

What: Protest when Southwest receives “Airline of the Year” award

When: Today, Feb. 25, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008

“When we heard a magazine was giving Southwest ‘Airline of the Year’ award, we figured it must be The Onion,” said Charles Cerf, president of TWU Local 555, referring to the satirical publication which entertains readers with fake headlines. “Because if you’re giving an award to an airline which acts like a bully to its workers, squeezing workers while earning billions in profits – that has to be a joke, right?”

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWUAir Transport World says ‘excellent labor relations’ is one of the criteria for receiving this award,” said Greg Puriski, a member of TWU 555 and a Southwest baggage handler who plans to be at the Washington protest. “They never asked us, that’s for sure. If they want to have better labor relations, let’s settle the contract.”

Despite difficult workloads due to handling larger aircraft and higher health care costs, most Southwest ground workers have not received a pay raise in the past four-and-a-half years. TWU Local 555 has been in negotiations with Southwest for a new contract since July 2011, with little progress during the past three-and-a-half years.

Since 2011, Southwest has earned over $3 billion in net income, including a record profit of $1.14 billion in 2014, following the airline’s merger with AirTran.  The airline also is continuing to benefit from a steep drop in the price of jet fuel.

Breaking from the Southwest tradition of rewarding employees as important stakeholders in the company, current management has held down wages despite healthy profits.  While most baggage handlers have seen their wages frozen, Southwest imposes higher health care costs on its employees each year, resulting in a loss of take home pay.

“It’s absurd that anybody would honor Southwest after the way it treats employees,” said Puriski. “Stagnating pay and the decline of the middle class are huge problems in this country.  Southwest is a profitable company that has a chance to be part of the solution.  Instead, they’re making the problem worse.”

“We want everyone attending this high-profile event to know that Southwest can do better – and must do better – to succeed in today’s competitive travel industry,” added Cerf.

TWU Local 555 is a local union of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), representing more than 10,000 ground crew workers at Southwest Airlines. 

State Senator Jeff Woodburn To Tour US Post Offices Celebrating The Anniversary Of Federal Mail Service


Written by
Janice Kelble, Legislative Director
NH Postal Workers Union

While Tuesday & Wednesday were days spent at the NH Statehouse defending against so called “Right to Work” and other attacks on working folks, we had a bit of good news from the northern part of the State. The APWU and the NALC were pleased to get a call from NH State Senate Minority Leader, Jeff Woodburn. Senator Woodburn called to inform us of his plan to pro-actively recognize the importance of a public Post Office.

Senator Woodburn will be touring U.S. Post Offices throughout Coos and Grafton Counties to celebrate the anniversary of federal mail service being signed into law by President George Washington on February 20, 1792.

The Senator is inviting residents to join him in celebrating this vital public service that American’s depend on. “US Postal Services has proud history and remains a vital link to connect rural New Hampshire to the rest of the state and nation,” Woodburn said. ”

His tentative schedule includes stops at the following post offices:

08:30 – 09:00 am Lincoln Post Office
09:30 – 10:00 am Franconia Post Office
10:15 – 10:45 am Sugar Hill Post Office
11:00 – 11:30 am Littleton Post Office
01:30 – 2:00 pm Berlin Post Office
02:30 – 2:45 pm Milan Post Office
03:15 – 3:30 pm Groveton Post Office
04:30 – 5:00 pm Colebrook Post Office

In 2006 the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) was signed into law, putting a noose around the neck of the Postal Service. Slowly the Service has eroded as the USPS cuts back service, by reducing Post Office hours, closing and consolidating processing facilities, attempting to cut back delivery days and drastically reducing delivery service standards. It is not too late to turn things around. While letter mail volume has declined, package mail is booming and the mail network must be maintained to preserve a thriving robust public Postal Service!

We need more elected officials like Senator Woodburn who go out of their way to recognize important public services and to honor the workers. With all of the threats of privatization of the USPS we hope more legislators will speak out in favor of retaining this trusted public institution. A big “thank you” to Senator Woodburn from the NH Postal Workers Union and from The NH Association of Letter Carriers.

For more information or to get an updated schedule, contact Sen. Woodburn at 603.271.3207 or Jeff.Woodburn@Leg.state.nh.us.

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