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Now Legislatures Are Going Through Your Paychecks Too…

We have seen the Anti-Worker agenda being pushed by the NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien before with his constant push to make NH a Right To Work state.  He always stated that is not an Anti-Union bill it is a freedom and a job creator.  Well I think now we will learn his true feelings about Unions.  The Speaker is a Co-Sponsor on a new bill that is completely an attack on Unions.  House Bill 1163, is very short and very damaging.

HOUSE BILL 11631 Repeal. RSA 275:48, I(b)(1), relative to withholding union dues, is repealed.2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
(SPONSORS: Rep. DeLemus, Straf 1; Rep. Vaillancourt, Hills 15; Rep. O’Brien, Hills 4; Rep. Groen, Straf 1; Rep. Gimas, Hills 12; Rep. Mirski, Graf 10; Rep. Sorg, Graf 3; Rep. Itse, Rock 9; Rep. Ingbretson, Graf 5; Rep. Newton, Straf 1; Sen. Luther, Dist  12)

That is right he wants to make it illegal to have Union Dues paid directly from your paycheck.   Unions as well as many other organizations are allowed to be paid from your paycheck under RSA 275:48.

275:48 Withholding of Wages.(b) The employer has a written authorization by the employee for deductions for a lawful purpose accruing to the benefit of the employee as provided in regulations issued by the commissioner , as provided in subparagraph (d) or for any of the following:

The only thing is that YOU must in writing Voluntarily allow the organization to be paid directly from your paycheck.   This list of acceptable organizations that you can directly pay is quite long. Number One on the list is Unions,  Health Insurance, Rent, Mortgage, Retirement Savings Accounts, Even Political Activities,  and many many more.  There is one catch.

RSA275:48 (12) states that witholdings can be made “for any purpose on which the employer and employee mutually agree that does not grant financial advantage to the employer, when the employee has given his or her written authorization and deductions are duly recorded”. 

So this means that you could make a weekly payment to the Big Brothers Big Sisters charity every week or to any person, any company, or any organization as on as it does not grant a financial advantage to the employer!  So what it is the Real Reason for an amendment like HB 1163? It is another attack on Unions in New Hampshire.  They want to make it harder for Unions to collect the dues money from members who freely joined and voluntarily requested to have them withdrawn from their paychecks.  This money is used for Representation of the Members, that is what dues are!  There has been a lot of press that mistakenly says that Union Dues are used in Political Campaigns.  This is not true.  The NLRB forbids the use of Union Dues for Campaign Contributions.  Most Unions, just like mine, have a separate PAC (political action campaign fund) that members donate money on top of their dues.

So Again I ask, WHAT IS THIS BILL REALLY ABOUT? Why are the State Legislators forcing their way into our personal business.  The Speaker talks about reducing business regulations then creates laws that mandate how a company operate?


NH Labor News 12/28: Voter ID laws Epic #Fail, Save The USPS, NH Politics Round Up

The New Hampshire Labor News
For 12/28/11


Keeping College Students From the Polls – NYTimes.com: “Seven states have already passed strict laws requiring a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or a passport) to vote, which many students don’t have, and 27 others are considering such measures. Many of those laws have been interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state driver’s licenses from being used for voting.

It’s all part of a widespread Republican effort to restrict the voting rights of demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young, who are more likely to support President Obama, are disproportionately represented in the 21 million people without government IDs. On Friday, the Justice Department, finally taking action against these abuses, blocked the new voter ID law in South Carolina.”


Patrick Flannery: Voter ID aimed at liberal young voters: “If there was any doubt about the goal of the voter ID initiatives being pushed by the Republicans nationwide, a comment by Republican New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien to a tea party group clarifies their rationale.
He stated that allowing people to register and vote on Election Day led to “kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do — they don’t have life experiences, and they just vote their feelings.”
These voter ID programs have very little to do with voter fraud, which is mostly non-existent, and everything to do with keeping certain groups from participating in democracy.
— Patrick Flannery, Madison, WI”


Boscawen: Residents fight for post office | Concord Monitor: “”I’m going to start with the president,” said Clow, the secretary of the Boscawen Historical Society. “Why not? The town elected him; he may as well know our concerns.”

“Please help us,” Clow wrote in a letter last week to elected officials, including President Obama, the New Hampshire congressional delegation and representatives of the Postal Service. “Why are we being targeted in this manner? We want to know, because this affects most of us in town.”

A new contract between the American Postal Workers Union and the Postal Service, ratified in May, mandated that the post office on King Street close Jan. 6. The postmistress, Laura Lane, was notified in a letter dated Oct. 28. Post office box-holders received formal notification last week.”


2012 state Legislature to focus on creating small business – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Meanwhile, over on the House side, Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, said one of his top goals is to cut business taxes prior to the next election.
“To me, business taxes remain the fly in the ointment that is the New Hampshire Advantage,” Bettencourt said. “I really think it’s an impediment to a job growth explosion in New Hampshire.”
The problem is, the main vehicle for delivering business tax cuts – legalizing casino gambling – is not going to happen in 2012.
Gov. John Lynch’s unexpectedly fierce vow to veto such a bill hasn’t taken the starch out of the pro-gambling lobbying effort.”


State House Memo: Here’s one jobs plan that works | Concord Monitor: “Like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the current casts of Republican characters are threatening to steal the real New Hampshire advantage: good jobs and a well-educated workforce.

As we open a new legislative session, it is important to remember that our state’s lower unemployment rate is the result of years of educating the workforce, cultivating a healthy business environment and helping those less fortunate find work. Moderate Republicans and Democrats, including Gov. John Lynch most recently, deserve the credit for holding firm to core New Hampshire values related to job retention and job growth over the years.”


Selectmen ban pollsters in town hall
Each participating group in the coalition will draft one to three questions that, along with online submissions, will be reviewed by a committee of the groups and five to 10 questions will be finalized for the Jan. 10 poll.

Cadot said that some questions will likely involve what his group, Democracy or Empire, has been asking candidates, such as, “Should the U.S. count and regularly report civilian casualties and deaths when it proceeds to war and armed conflict?”

“With elections at hand, the focus is to enable citizens to more clearly express their opinions and preferences on policy issues regardless of how the various candidates do,” Cadot said. “After all, when James Madison offered to the American people the opportunity to make suggestions about how to improve the U.S. Constitution, he received 60 or so responses from around the country, which resulted in the Bill of Rights.”


Gay-marriage law assault perplexing – NashuaTelegraph.com: “It would be one thing if there were evidence the current law has had negative repercussions for the state or its citizens. There isn’t. No jobs have been lost. No revenues have been compromised. No little children have been traumatized. If anything, the law has bolstered the state’s respected libertarian reputation.
More importantly, the law has broad public support. In April, the University of New Hampshire Survey Center reported 55 percent of state residents support same-sex marriages, while 39 percent opposed them. This followed an earlier poll that found Granite State residents oppose the GOP’s effort to repeal same-sex marriages by 62 to 29 percent.”


Q’s for the Day: Will Speaker Gingrich Embrace NH Speaker Bill O’Brien’s Failed Approach?

*For Immediate Release* Wednesday, December 21, 2011 *Media Contact:* Zandra Rice Hawkins, (603) 892-2150 *Q’s for the Day: Will Speaker Gingrich Embrace NH Speaker Bill O’Brien’s Failed Approach? * *Select questions to ask following NH House Speaker’s endorsement* Manchester, NH – NH Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien is formally endorsing former Speaker Newt Gingrich today in Iowa and New Hampshire. The NH Speaker is an embattled leader in state government, having lost every special election (four) in the state so far this year, and increasingly coming under fire from even fellow Republicans for his extreme partisan agenda. Criticisms of O’Brien’s approach sound strikingly similar to those of Gingrich, judging by comments from Republican legislators who served under him. Where do the similarities end? Questions to ask following today’s endorsement: *Will Speaker Gingrich follow Speaker O’Brien’s approach to governing by instituting an ideological purity test within his own party? * Speaker Bill O’Brien tossed one of the most conservative members of the New Hampshire House – Rep. Gary Hopper (R-Weare), a man whose legislative picture has him standing in front of a “Don’t Tread on Me”flag – off his committee chair assignment for voting against a single, favored bill of the Speaker’s that would hurt middle class workers in New Hampshire. It’s a regular practice of O’Brien to pull his own Republicans off committees unless they fall exactly in-line with his extreme ideology. *Is Newt Gingrich going to let special interest money write his policy like Speaker Bill O’Brien?* Speaker O’Brien famously came back from a trip to Washington DC this summer and disrupted budget talks to insist that a tobacco tax decrease be inserted into the nearly completed budget. The ten-cent cut in the cigarette tax has wreaked havocon New Hampshire’s revenue line. What Big Tobacco asked for, O’Brien delivered. *Is Newt Gingrich going to work hand in hand with ALEC like O’Brien?* Whether it was the Right to Work for Less bill or the voter suppression bill that O’Brien pushed earlier this year, he has been taking carbon copies of legislation from Koch brother’s funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and introducing them here in NH. And like Gingrich, his verbal slip-ups haven’t won him any favors, including saying kids are too young and liberalto vote. *And, most important: Is Speaker Gingrich going to get help from the same Speaker O’Brien who has suffered 4 devastating losses in special elections, including one in his own district?* Bill O’Brien’s extreme agenda has resulted in 4 devastating losses for his backed candidates in state house special elections this year. Not least of which was the special election held within his own district – one of the most conservative leaning in the state – where O’Brien’s candidate lost by 20 percentage points. With Speaker Gingrich sliding in the polls, the last thing he needs is help from a divisive politician who hasn’t delivered one election since he’s been in office. ### Rep. Gary Hopper: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/member.aspx?member=376353 Tobacco Tax: http://m.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?aid=/20111203/OPINION/112030318&template=wapart Voter Suppression: http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011701139913

Canadian Labour International Film Festival, Comes to Manchester 12/19/11…

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (http://labourfilms.ca/) is coming to MANCHESTER! 
After a very long year of struggling with Right To Work legislation and a monstrous attack on workers now is the time to sit back and recharge your Labor Batteries.  Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and come watch three independently made movies about the Labor Movement and the 99% in the United States and Canada.

A description and preview of each of the movies is located below.

We will be showing these movie on:
When: MON. Dec 19th at 6pm
Where: Manchester Public Library Auditorium
405 Pine Street, Manchester (directions)

For more information and to RSVP contact Matt Murray.

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!

You can also RSVP right here…


BreathtakingTime: 43 minutes Year: 2010
Director: Kathleen Mullen
Producer: Kathleen Mullen
Country: Canada
Language: English, French, Hindi, Gujarati (English subtitles)
Preview available at: http://www.kathleenmullen.com/breathtaking/

Description:
“Breathtaking” takes on the asbestos industry through a moving and personal investigation into the deaths of Kathleen’s father from mesothelioma, and the confounding present-day use of asbestos in Canada and other countries that continues to exact a human toll. Valued since prehistory and commercially mined since the Industrial Revolution, asbestos was nicknamed the ‘magic mineral’ for its fabric-like properties and its capacity to protect against fire. It’s been used in everything from brake pads to oven mitts. After it was discovered to be carcinogenic, asbestos use was banned in many countries and limited in others.


Locked outTime: 60 minutes
Year: 2011
Director: Joan Sekler
Producer: Joan Sekler
Country: USA
Language: English
Preview available at: http://www.lockedout2010.org/

Description:
This David and Goliath story reveals how 560 unionized miners in California refused to accept wage and benefit cuts by their employer, Rio Tinto, a giant multinational mining company. They were locked out of their jobs and replaced by scabs. They organized a mass movement of support and after 107 days, Rio Tinto backed down, signed a decent contract and the miners went back to work.


Triangle: Remembering the Fire
Time: 38 minutes, 47 seconds
Year: 2011
Director: Daphne Pinkerson
Producers: Daphne Pinkerson, Marc Levin
Country: USA
Language: English
Preview available at: http://vimeo.com/18481061

Description:
“Triangle: Remembering the Fire” marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, an event that changed the course of history. It is the story of a great uprising of young women, whose protest ended tragically in flames. A cinematic tone poem of remembrance, the films also stands as a cautionary tale about the dangers of returning to the attitudes of the Gilded Age.


TRIANGLE: Remembering the Fire from Blowback Productions on Vimeo.

State Rep Makes Anti-Labor Comments made on NH Union Leader Website

The Union Leader like most websites allow reader to make comments on their articles and editorials.  This is a revertible mine field.  The comments range from a simple “thats right” to a  long diatribe of mean and hateful comments about the author or the message. Some of these commenters are real readers who live in the area and are genuinely concerned about the topic. Some are what are commonly referred to as “blog trolls”.  These are people who are paid by an organization to “troll” the internet and post comments on blogs that are relevant to their organization.  In my reading of articles and blogs on Right To Work, I have come across this many times.  The same people saying the same thing over and over.

Recently the Union Leader published a Pro Right To Work editorial (I will have more on this another time).  In the comments of this post one really stuck out at me.  This is what it said:

“I’m all for the right for employees to associate or to dissociate, but employers don’t currently have that right. Employers CAN’T make a decision, they have no choice. RTW is simply the state stepping on the other end of the scale and balancing out the feds. I’ll vote against RTW if the federal government makes it legal for employers to choose to simply not deal with unions. I’m not holding my breath, because the labor movement will never stop holding that gun to the head of small, medium, and large businesses across the country.” – NH Union Leader Comments Section (bold added for emphasis)

 I am sure you can see why this was like a slap in the face to me.  This comment has a no holds barred attack on Unions.  I want to break this down a little and show you what the commenter was really saying. “I’m all for the right for employees to associate or to dissociate, but employers don’t currently have that right. Employers CAN’T make a decision, they have no choice. He starts off by stating that he does not care if we have Labor Unions or if people want to join them or not.  His point is that Employers should have the right to completely ignore a Labor Union if the Employer chooses to.  This is another way of saying “we can form a union but the Employer decides if they want to accept it”.  This goes against the entire process of forming Labor Unions.  For seventy plus years workers have had to first come together (most of the time in secret) to find out if they had enough workers to support electing a Labor Union to represent them.  The Wagner Act clearly states in SEC. 8: “It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer To refuse to bargain collectively with the representatives of his employees.” Prior to this law in 1935 employers would fire workers for attempting to organize or promote Labor Unions.  It also made it Federal Law that Employers must negotiate with the duly elected representatives of that Union. It also created the National Labor Relations Board to ensure the t laws were being followed by both Unions and Employers.  So what this commenter is suggesting is that we repeal a law that has been in effect for over 75 years and is the complete basis for forming and joining Labor Unions.

As if the opening part of this comment was not bad enough he continues by stating that; “the labor movement will never stop holding that gun to the head of small, medium, and large businesses across the country”.  That is a very bold statement and complete untrue.  I know that he is speaking in metaphors and there is no literal “gun”,  but the point he is trying to make is that Labor Unions are holding business hostage.  Think about that for a minute.  I will not go through the entire list of things that Labor Unions have done for workers here in the United States (if you want to see a small list that was posted on NH Labor News Network before click here).  All of these things that Labor Unions have fought and died for came from the collective bargaining process.  Does anyone really believe that mill owners wanted to give workers two days off per week, or pay a minimum wage?  No these things had to be fought for and negotiated into labor contracts.  Sometimes it took workers physically walking out on their jobs to get their message heard.  Otherwise owners would simply ignore their demands.  This is still the case today.  Workers go on strike, to get their message heard.  Employers meet with Unions and “negotiate”.  However this does not always mean they will meet in the middle.  Sometime the Union gets more of what they want, other times the employer gets more from the workers and the Union.  Nobody is being held hostage.  They must simply sit down and talk to each other to solve their differences.   By doing this they can accomplish great things.  Recently the State Employee Association of New Hampshire worked with the Governor to save the State $50 million dollars in renegotiating their contract.

I think the most appalling part of this comment is who wrote it, “NH State Rep. Keith Murphy (R-Bedford)”.  People are free to believe what they want and have the freedom to say it but this goes to far.  Our elected representatives should be held to a higher standard when making a statement on TV, Radio, or in the Comments section of the Union Leader.  There is a simple solution to all of this,  Get OUT VOTE.  If you do not like what Your State Rep is saying Vote them Out!  Then they will just be the angry guy who lives down the street.  Your State Reps are elected to speak for You in Concord.  Do not let them forget that.  Call them and tell them that.  If they still will not listen, Vote Them Out!

A repost of AFL-CIO blog: N.H. Workers Buoyed by Today’s Victory

A re-post from the AFL-CIO Now Blog


N.H. Workers Buoyed by Today’s VictoryAFL-CIO communications staffer Nora Frederickson sends us this report.

Workers and union leaders in New Hampshire were ecstatic that months of hard work in New Hampshire paid off today when the state House failed to override Gov. John Lynch’s (D) veto of a so-called right to work bill. Nearly 100 teachers, firefighters, postal workers and others showed up to ask their legislators to support the veto during the high-stakes session day and urged lawmakers to withstand pressure from Republican presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry as well as a rowdy group of Americans for Prosperity volunteers bused into New Hampshire for the day.
“I was confident that the reps on our side would be there, but it was still really nerve-wracking in the House,” said Felicia Augevich, a Fairpoint employee and member of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 who helped monitor the session at the Legislature today.
I’m really proud of how everyone came together—Democrats and Republicans, private-sector and public-sector workers. We’re hoping that the victory today will send a positive message to the public, to the middle class, and to all of New Hampshire that collective bargaining really is what guarantees good wages and benefits for Americans. We’ve had one victory, but we still have a lot ahead of us.
Working family allies in the Legislature stood up before the vote to argue passionately against the “right to work” for less bill. When the vote was finally called at 11:55 a.m., working people greeted the results with jubilation.
After the House floor cleared, teachers, firefighters and ironworkers gathered on the steps of the Statehouse to celebrate the results of months of collaboration.
“Make no mistake, we triumped because we stood together as a united labor movement,”New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie told the crowd.
Harriet Spencer of AFSCME’s Council 93 agreed.
Today’s vote proved that solidarity is more than a word.

Join us for LABOR Movie and a little Solidarity!

I’m excited to be facilitating the New Hampshire premier of The Canadian Labor International Film Festival here in Nashua on November 17 at 5:30 pm. This Thursday night showing will be held at the Nashua Public Library on 2 Court St.

The films deal with working class history, issues and struggles.  I find the film “Locked Out” especially important as we the 99% need to stand tall and by each other for the win, just as ILWU Local 30 560 members did to win against the Rio Tinto mining company.

The films have a combined screening time of about 2 ½ hours.  The Festival will start at 5:30. We have the theatre until 9, giving us time for discussion. My hope is that this event will expose us to some quality films while giving us a chance to make acquaintance and connect as we share perspectives.

 

Film List

 

Breathtaking

Time: 43 minutes Year: 2010

Preview available at: http://www.kathleenmullen.com/breathtaking/

“Breathtaking” takes on the asbestos industry through a moving and personal investigation into the deaths of Kathleen’s father from mesothelioma, and the confounding present-day use of asbestos in Canada and other countries that continues to exact a human toll. Valued since prehistory and commercially mined since the Industrial Revolution, asbestos was nicknamed the ‘magic mineral’ for its fabric-like properties and its capacity to protect against fire. It’s been used in everything from brake pads to oven mitts. After it was discovered to be carcinogenic, asbestos use was banned in many countries and limited in others.

 

Locked out

Time: 60 minutes Year: 2011

Preview available at: http://www.lockedout2010.org/

This David and Goliath story reveals how 560 unionized miners in California refused to accept wage and benefit cuts by their employer, Rio Tinto, a giant multinational mining company. They were locked out of their jobs and replaced by scabs. They organized a mass movement of support and after 107 days, Rio Tinto backed down, signed a decent contract and the miners went back to work.

 

Triangle: Remembering the Fire

Time: 38 minutes Year: 2011

Preview available at: http://vimeo.com/18481061

“Triangle: Remembering the Fire” marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, an event that changed the course of history. It is the story of a great uprising of young women, whose protest ended tragically in flames. A cinematic tone poem of remembrance, the films also stands as a cautionary tale about the dangers of returning to the attitudes of the Gilded Age.

 

Please stop by for an evening of film, conversation and solidarity.

 

See you there!

Mark

 

Mark King

President

NPL Employee Union

AFT-FPE

#4831

 

President, Class of 2011

National Labor College

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.- Abraham Lincoln

Happy Veterans Day

I would like to take a few moments to talk about Veterans.  Let me start by saying THANK YOU to all of the Veterans who are currently serving and those how have served in the past.  You service and dedication to our country is unmatched, and in my opinion under emphasized.  Veterans put their lives on the line to protect the USA and everything we hold dear.  For that we cannot say Thank You enough.

 Just yesterday the US Senate passed the “Vow to Hire Heros Act of 2011”.  This bill would give a tax credit to businesses who hire out of work Veterans.

(Source NPR) Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work. The Senate bill would provide tax breaks of up to $9,600 to private employers who hire them.
The tax credits are the first sliver of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs package to actually win bipartisan approval in the Senate. Obama says service members who fought for their country shouldn’t have to fight for jobs when they come home.

Since this is a Labor Blog, lets explore the relationship between Veterans and Unions.  The Labor Unions  in this country have always been a strong supporter of Veterans and encourage the hiring of Veterans.  Veterans are well know for their dedication and work ethic.  Two things that Labor Unions are also know for.  In a statement about Labor Day the Department of Veterans Affairs released this statement:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) workforce of more than 300,000 – including more than 90,000 who are Veterans – knows one of its objectives as it observes Labor Day is to help young Veterans find jobs.
Union members are about two-thirds of VA’s workforce and Shinseki praises five national unions and their leadership for ongoing support of Veterans and VA’s Veteran employees. VA is one of very few federal agencies to have maintained a National Partnership Council (NPC) with its unions since 1994.

As you can see the VA knows how important the relationship between Unions and Veterans is.  There are many other programs that Labor Unions help create to help young Veterans returning from service get jobs.  One of these programs is the Trade Unions “Helmets to Hardhats” program.

(The Helmets to Hardhats program is)a partnership between the Building Trades, the signatory Construction Industry Employer Associations and the U.S. Military — military veterans are transitioning back to civilian life with quality career training and employment opportunities within the building and construction industry. Helmets to Hardhats is designed to ease the difficult passage into civilian life for military families, providing the best career opportunities, pay, and benefits to those who have earned the nation’s support through their years of service.
The program is proving to be a great fit, for both returning servicemen and women and the unionized construction trades. Veterans receive the best training in the trade of their choice and an opportunity for a well-paying union career while the construction industry receives quality, hard-working apprentices, ready for the challenges of the building trades. 

The building trades are not the only Labor Union who has been there to help our Veterans.  The United States Postal Service at one time was the largest employer in the U.S.  In 2007 the USPS employed over 680,000 people and of that 25% were Veterans. (Note 8% of total workforce were disabled Veterans).  While I applaud the Senate for passing the “Hire Hero’s Act”, what about the Veterans who currently work for the Postal Service? They are in jeopardy of loosing their jobs unless Congress takes action.

The Postal Service announced in August that it wants to reduce the workforce by 220,000, and is seeking authority to lay off as many as 120,000 workers.
If 120,000 postal workers were laid off, approximately 26,000 veterans would be affected. (source)

We need out members of Congress to take action to save the jobs of these hard working Veterans in the Postal Service.  Below is an ad from the American Postal Workers Union and National Postal Mailhandlers Union asking for your help to stop these drastic cuts to the Postal Service.  You can also find out more at Save Americas Postal Service ( http://saveamericaspostalservice.org/index.html).

Once again Thank You to all Veterans on this Veterans Day (and every day)!

Why do Labor Unions spend so much money supporting…..

This is a two part post.  The first section is a couple of quotes from a newspaper in Texas talking about why Gov Perry has been trying to break Unions.  The short answer is, to Preserve the Power of The GOP.

What’s Behind GOP Battle With Unions in Texas? — 2012 Elections | The Texas Tribune: “What’s Behind GOP Battle With Unions in Texas?”
“Now the question is — what is the purpose of unions,” (former assistant Sec. of Labor Veronica) Stidvent said, “and I think the controversy about them, particularly on the Republican side is, are they anything more than an arm of the Democratic Party?”

Union states in north east and upper midwest, even those with low union membership, the money and man-power unions offer to Democratic candidates can be nearly invincible. Dave Dulio is chair of the political science department at Oakland University just outside of Detroit.

“Republicans in union states are probably tired of getting their butts kicked by unions on Election Day. Because it’s a very powerful force,” Dulio said.


So they’ve taken on unions on their home turf, and tried to disable public sector unions, like teachers, fire fighters and state employees. Take Wisconsin and New Jersey’s conservative-led push to end collective bargaining for teachers. State legislators are also using tight budgets as reasons for union busting says UT’s Dave Hamermesh.


Below is my personal opinion on why Unions support Democrats more often than Republicans in Political donations.

“Labor Unions spend about 90% of their political campaign donations to support Democrats. Why should Republicans have to pay Union dues to an organization that does not reflect their beliefs?”

Organizations not just Unions spend hundreds of millions of dollars funding campaigns.  It is also true that most Labor Unions do have a voluntary “Political Action Campaign” fund.  These are voluntary above and beyond the dues that they pay to their Union.  These PAC’s are solely for political actions.  To get back to the question of why do Unions send most of their money to Democrats.  The answer is quite simple.  Union PAC’s give money for candidates who support Labor and the industries that the Unions represent.

Over the past year there have been many Republican controlled State Legislatures who pushed anti-worker and anti-union legislation.  The most notorious is Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.  Gov. Walker banned collective bargaining rights for state employees in Wisconsin.  Why would a labor union want to help support these same politicians who are trying to destroy their rights and take away the voice of the workers?

Every Union decided where they want to spend their money, and they all spend money differently.  Some Unions lean one way while others are more even. Take for example the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), they donate money pretty evenly.  They gave 52% to Democrats and 48% to republicans.  Why you may ask? Because they are supporting the campaigns of those Congress members who support, the aviation industry, the air traffic controllers, and the FAA as a whole.  Members of Congress tend to spend a lot of time flying back and forth to their home states which is why they tend to support the NATCA controllers.

So as you can see the money that Labor Unions spend does not matter if they are Republicans or Democrats. What truly matters is, Do They Support the Workers?



Be sure to tell us what you think, leave us a comment below!

News from Speaker O’Briens town hall meeting on Sat.

Since the first session of the New Hampshire House this year it has been very obvious that House Speaker Bill O’Brien has been pushing and agenda that will hurt New Hampshire more than help.  He has also been pushing bills like the Voter Id, and Repeal of Gay Marriage bill.  We have also seen time and time again where Speaker O’Brien has bullied other members of the State Legislature as well as residents of the state.

The Voter ID bill has been one of the bills that we have talked about at great length (previous post with video). The Voter ID bill is an move by the National GOP to limit the amount of people who can vote.  Most of these people include college students and elderly who tend to vote for “liberals”.

One of our followers Michael, a 15 year old, was at the Town Hall meeting on Saturday. He asked the Speaker about Voter ID.  Michael was continually shut down and pushed aside because he opposed the  Speakers position.  The Bully Strikes Again.  Michael was kind enough to share his personal account of what happened with us. The link to Michael’s Blog.  The videos were captured by the NHDP, and are unedited.

Also published on Blue Hampshire


A Conversation With NH Speaker Bill O’Brien– Voter Suppression is No “Joke”

October 23, 2011

New Hampshire’s Speaker of the House, Tea Party Republican Bill O’Brien, has a national reputation due to a scandal surrounding a speech he made to a NH 9-12 group last March, where he stated that a Voter ID proposition’s restriction of voting by college students was a positive effect. The Speaker explained to the group of fellow Glenn Beck supporters that college students, who have insufficient life experience, foolishly vote their feelings for liberal candidates and as such their right to vote should be questioned. And this culminated in a crusade for a bill which would bar out-of-state college students from voting in their college town, even though their income, economic activity and center of life is in that town.


Upon arrival, we all took our seats after introducing ourselves to Speaker O’Brien. The Speaker eventually made his way to the table in the front of the room, and began a not-so-brief explanation of the Republican agenda of the last ten months. I couldn’t begin to describe the fundamental dishonesty of half the speech (or the fundamental flaws of the oligarchical mindset behind the other half). I came, of course, for the “citizen input” portion and cannot really make a passable analysis of his lengthy and cliched speech.
The session began with a “concerned citizen”, who was quickly satisfied with an answer on a local issue, and a “small-businessman” who echoed Speaker O’Brien’s attacks on the Department of Labor and attacked Democrats in a fairly incoherent manner. O’Brien replied, cheerfully, contrary to his usually bullying and terse manner, and smiles shone around all the Republican faces in the room. This, thought Bill, is how town halls should go.
The dialogue began to shift with the third question, when a woman criticized Speaker O’Brien for balancing the budget on the back of foster children. The woman, a former foster child, attacked the huge cuts to CHINS, a foster program credited with making NH among the least problematic states for foster children, while allowing corporations to take tax cuts. O’Brien claimed the woman could go to the “round table in his office” where she could address other places that spending could be cut to keep full funding for CHINS. Of course, the local issue from before was keeping a courthouse in the Senate President’s district open- for that reason he said funding would likely be available.
However, this is when I lifted my hand and asked my question. I asked him about the aforementioned quote about students and whether or not he believed that there should be a litmus test based on ideology determining who gets to vote easily and conveniently. His response was not to answer the question I quite politely posed, but to start speaking in a rather untoward, declamatory manner about how I “demonized” him and how liberals “demonize” conservatives instead of talking about the important issues of the day- namely, supporting business, lowering taxes, cutting spending and family values. He then went on to distemperately rant about Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, bitterly implying that I, a flipping fifteen year old, am a Communist subversive, sandwiched between lines about me demonizing Republicans.
At this point, another woman at the event was called upon. She, to my surprise, asked Mr. O’Brien why he was interrupting and demonizing me, much to his chagrin. The woman moved on to question him further about the bill, after which he claimed it was a “joke” that the liberal media picked up on so he could be “demonized” for being a conservative. The questioner asked, then, if he believed the “joke”- he answered that he did. The Speaker, after being rightly castigated by the woman, moved on to a few more questions, which all opposed his agenda.
At this point, the fellow organizing the event called on us to stop speaking out, as the event “is a meeting for Lyndeborough residents”, even though the meeting was publicized in the paper for anyone to attend or to question Bill O’Brien. We were accused of being “hijackers” by speaking about issues that didn’t support Bill’s radical agenda. The tide, of course, could not be stopped. When the Speaker found out that almost everyone attending was a protester, questions were restricted to Lyndeborough residents. But even the home-town team’s questions were no more friendly.
Not a good afternoon for our Speaker, poor thing.
Flailing for an opportunity to kill time, he resorted to an “explanation” of his opposition of gay marriage. He basically ran down the list of talking points, from “traditional marriage” to the classic falsehood of “children grow up best in a family of one man, one woman”. When we tried to call him out on his list of falsehoods, he repeated them five seconds afterwards, after interrupting us. The rant, short of making him look like a Family Values Patriot™, revealed him as the homophobe that he is.


Video of the Town Hall Meeting and Michael asking his questions. Both videos are about 10 minutes long. If you watch you will be able to see how when you agree with the speaker, you get to talk as long as you want. When you disagree he will cut you off and prohibit you from speaking.

Move Video from the NHDP on the Town Hall Meeting.

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