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Letter: Al Baldasaro Represents Londonderry, Not New Hampshire

Dear Journalist Friends,

Please don’t file any more stories about Al Baldasaro without describing him as “Londonderry representative Al Baldasaro,” or “Londonderry’s Al Baldasaro,” or “Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry).”

Unless and until the people of Londonderry are publicly humiliated and shamed by their idiotic choices, he will continue to get re-elected and the rest of NH will appear responsible for his brain-dead ideas.

Keith McCrea

LTE: Bernie Sanders’s Plan On Climate Change Includes Opposing NH Pipeline

Dear Editor,

letters to the editorI endorse Senator Bernie Sanders and his well thought out Climate Plan.  You can read the details here, https://berniesanders.com/issues/climate-change/.  

In his plan Senator Sanders highlights the need to break the stranglehold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our politics.  While most of our NH Democratic leadership celebrates the denial of the Keystone XL pipeline, they turn a blind eye to the push for export pipelines in our own state.   Why is that?

In August of 2014, FERC had 24 bcf/day of pending pipeline applications, approving 92% within a year.  By August of 2015, that number soared to 50 bcf/day.   Congress just passed a bill to lift the 40 year ban on exports of crude oil and speed up pipeline approvals.   They can’t sell off our future fast enough, I guess?

It’s disappointing to think that our politicians, in the face of overwhelming evidence that Greenhouse Gases  have a disastrous effect on our climate, find themselves unable to confront the oil and gas industry with the facts because they rely on their money to get elected. 

Why were there no questions about Climate Change or Energy in Saturday night’s Democratic Debate? 

Only Bernie Sanders has had the courage to speak the truth.  After he came out with his statement against the NED pipeline project, other elected leaders joined him (though with less robust opposition).  We need leadership.  We need Bernie Sanders as our next President.

Sincerely,

Patricia Martin
Rindge, NH


Letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of the NH Labor News.
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WMUR TV Directors And Production Workers Are Still Fighting For Their First Contract

Ibew logo

Submitted by Brian Wilson

TV directors and production workers at WMUR, who voted to join IBEW 1228 in April, are facing strong opposition from station management in their attempt to win a fair, first contract. Thus far, the company has repeatedly refused to even discuss a wage proposal which was submitted by the union’s negotiating team back in July. It has sat on the table collecting dust ever since.

The station has also refused to discuss their position on the future of an existing pension plan which some workers have spent almost thirty years earning credit toward. The union has proposed nothing more than maintaining the existing pension, and has not asked for any expansion or increases.

It appears that the station seeks to punish its own workers for organizing by leaving their retirement plans hanging in the balance. This is unacceptable. Workers have a fundamental right to band together for their collective good, and their choosing to exercise that right is no excuse for the unabashed hostage-taking of their retirement plans, which they have spent their entire working lives building.

We ask for the support of not only the labor community, but of all those who know that if we allow the rights of workers to organize and bargain with their employer to be trampled upon, then we have allowed those workers’ voices to be silenced.

Please join us in urging the management of WMUR to effect a fair and swift resolution to this matter.

Letter To The Editor: The USPS Belongs To The People Of The Community It Serves

letters to the editor(This letter is in response to the post “Through Rain, Sleet, and Snow The Mail Must Go Through, So Why Is Congress Trying To Destroy The USPS?” by Bill Brickley on Feb 10th, 2015)

In conclusion myTo The Editor,

view is the problem not only Congressional meddling, rather it’s a failure on the part of Congress to ensure the Post Office belongs to the American people. We must insure that the Post Office is managed in a way that benefits people, communities, and businesses in positive ways. Instead of enabling Postal Executives (Postmaster General) it sells off public treasures like the Bronx GPO, destroys hundreds of thousands of good jobs, undermine service standards and raises rates.

Congress has an affirmative responsibility to oversee the Postal System and the Postal Network to ensure that it continues to provide solid service at fair rates while providing meaningful employment and supporting intangible values like binding the nation together.

This anti-government stance is a result of Grover Norquist’s comment “making the Federal Government small enough to ‘drown’ it in a bathtub” over two decades ago. This philosophy has fueled the Republican obstructionists. He was influential and convincing enough to have Republican Senators, Congressmen and Republicans in state houses to sign his petition.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Bender
George Hafner

Letter To The Editor: Community is Stronger than Corruption

letters to the editor

   Last month nearly 100 residents of the Seacoast area helped complete the NH Rebellion’s Granny D Walk to end systemic corruption in elections.  After marching through the ice and snow for 50 miles down Route 4 from Portsmouth to Concord, they arrived at the State House on January 21st for a day of festivities, joining hundreds of other walkers who had traversed the state from Keene, Nashua, and Dixville Notch.

    I had the distinct privilege of being part of our local walk from Portsmouth to Concord.  This movement is about connecting with our local communities and empowering each other, and I was humbled by the participation of so many dedicated individuals and community-minded local businesses.  Along the four day walk, very many local organizations and businesses participated, either by assisting the walkers or cheering us on from the sidelines.

    Many heartfelt thanks go out to all those organizations that opened their doors to the walkers as we passed by.  Overnight housing for us was graciously provided by the Community Church of Durham, Epsom Public Library, and Northwood Congregational Church–and we were kept well-fed by South Church of Portsmouth, Newmarket Community Church, Bow Lake Baptist Church, and Northwood Advent Church.  And amazingly, all of the students of the alternative school The Penn Program in Newmarket not only walked the whole way, but volunteered in many other roles.  Other local business partners along Route 4 between Portsmouth and Concord include Susty’s Restaurant, Mary’s Dogs Rescue, Country Hills Gifts, Cole Gardens, Emery Farm, Camping World, JW Precision Co Inc, Purdy Funeral Home, and Happy Homes for Dogs.

    We walked to give a voice to everyday people in our communities–so, without the cooperation of the small businesses and organizations in our communities, the walk would not only have been impossible, but meaningless.  Thank you to all of you, for caring about your community, and standing with us!

Ellen Read

Newmarket

When It Comes To The FairPoint Strike, Follow The Money

This letter was sent to us from Joe Gallager, a long time union activist and labor leader from the Insulators Union.  Emphasis has been added by editors. 

Follow the Money

I went down to the Fairpoint picket line in Manchester today. There was a very large turnout of workers. I have been to many labor rallies over the years and I have learned to follow the money.

Fairpoint is not a local corporate community anchor, their workers are the community. Back when Fairpoint purchased Verizon the alarms should have gone off (just like the labor leaders foretold), it was like the corner superette going out and purchasing a major food market chain.

Then a number years back, Fairpoint was on the ropes facing bankruptcy, the community of union workers pitched in to avert this disaster.

Now we have a company from North Carolina partially owned by hedge funds that are trying to squeeze dollars from the communities in which the workers live. Note I said money from communities! This is not so much union and management but taking working class money and moving such to a some entity that is richer than all of the workers.

If taking the profit from our community does not work, then the business executive’s run the company into the ground  to take advantage of capital losses that only benefit the hedge funds.

What remains of the company?

Once again follow the money, it is going to leave our communities. When a community is short changed everyone suffers.

The math of a fair contract is simple:

  1. A living wage which is not using your neighbors tax dollars to live on.
  2. A health care benefit is prosperity for the community health industry and without or a reduced benefit the community is forced to step up and absorb the uninsured liabilities as they do not leave the community.
  3. A retirement benefit that keeps one from the need of public assistance and younger generations struggling to spend into a premature cycle of their own life expenses.

So as this company brings in under paid contractors from outside the community, sends jobs out of the USA, and prolongs a work stoppage, pick up the napkin and write the amount of money to follow that is leaving the community. And if your that person who hates union workers with such a passion, please hope for a settlement. If that union worker who lives next to you loses his home, try the math of a foreclosure in your neighborhood against your own home value.

Joe Gallager
Manchester, NH

LTE: Dark Places Want To Destroy Social Security

Editor’s Note: Below is a letter to the editor from Caroline French of Dover.  The letter is response to this editorial from Fosters.  She sent her letter to the NHLN because we continue to talk about protecting Social Security for future generations. 

There you go again! Just when we think that Fosters has given up it’s extreme right-wing-isms you go back to your dark places.

Sunday’s editorial about income redistribution, seniors ripping off their children and grandchildren yada yada does not reflect the facts.

There are dark forces afoot who want to destroy Social Security. FIX THE DEBT for instance is a front for Pete Peterson who has dedicated his very wealthy very well-heeled life to destroying the old age of low income old people. This group’s national scams were just revealed recently.  Newspapers across the country called him out. http://ourfuture.org/20131114/astroturf-fix-the-debt-caught-ghostwriting-for-college-students

If nothing happens to fix the Social Security income stream the worst case for the next 50-100 years would be a 10% drop in earned benefits.  The simple fix is to raise the cap on income taxed by FICA (Social Security payroll taxes.) Now the tax is on the first $108,000 of income. If you up it to $250,000 the revenue stream for Social Security is fixed. Why should a waitress pay 100% of her income while rich people pay a pittance of theirs? The fair thing to do would be to tax every dollar of income the same. If you did that every social contract (remember the “general welfare” in the preamble to the Constitution?) program would be well funded forever.

Keep these two little words in mind–earned benefit. We seniors have paid for Social Security and your guilt trip is not going to take it away from us. Social Security is not an entitlement;  it is an earned paid for benefit. Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) is sponsoring Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013. Supporting this act is the moral thing to do. Make sure our senators are on board. http://clermontsun.com/2013/11/15/sherrod-brownstrengthening-social-security-for-generations-yet-to-come/

Fosters editors, if you want a platform to stand on that’s legitimate, stand on the platform of tweaking (prescriptions) Part D so that the price of drugs is negotiated the way the Veterans Administration does it. The inability by law of the federal government to negotiate the price of drugs is a built in poison pill put there by the Bush administration to benefit their corporate supporters all the while hurting Social Security.  Now there’s something legitimate for you to fix.

Caroline French
Dover, NH

LTE: Living In Fear Without Insurance

This is a Letter to the Editor from a fan

Living In Fear Without Insurance

Many have experienced the fear that comes with not having health insurance. Others are covered, but have seen their premiums rise exponentially. New Hampshire has an important opportunity that will address both of these problems: accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid.

Medicaid currently only covers low-income children, people with disabilities, and some parents. This leaves others to fall through the cracks without health coverage they can afford. Expansion would help solve this problem by covering more than 22,000 Granite Staters who would otherwise be uninsured.

A smaller uninsured population would also be good for businesses and consumers who pay for private insurance. Family plans cost around $1000 extra to make up for uninsured people who get care they can’t pay for.

In Concord, the House has already shown their support for the new coverage option. Now we need to ensure the Senate does the same. My Senator, John Reagan, has not yet announced his support for this commonsense solution.

I encourage Senator Reagan’s constituents to contact him at john.reagan111@gmail.com or 603-463-3009 and ask that he do the right thing: accept federal funds and expand Medicaid. Reagan represents Allenstown, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Loudon, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Raymond, and Strafford.

Gloria Andrews

Chichester, NH

Aaron Gill For NH House Says: ‘RIGHT TO WORK IS WRONG FOR NH’

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Aaron Gill has been a follower and fan of the NH Labor News for while now.  I have told you about Aaron and his opposition to the extremists in the NH House.  Aaron has also told us about his believes in labor.  You can read his previous LTE to the NHLN here.

Below is an email and LTE from Aaron talking about his stance on Right To Work (for less) and his opponent pushing RTW in the NH House.  If you live in Aaron’s District (Deering-Goffstown) please email him and get your yard sign today.  We need more people in the NH House like Aaron who are willing to fight for the middle class not out of state agendas.

From AAron:

“With the primary over and the general election in less than 50 days, the Gill for NH House campaign continues to spread the message of Common Sense for Concord.

In yesterday’s Concord Monitor, I have a letter to the editor entitled, “Right-to-Work is Wrong for New Hampshire.” Despite the failure to pass a RTW bill in many past House sessions, and without any NH business leaders asking, the Republican Party quietly added the passing of RTW to their annual pledge. Failure to assimilate meant a primary battle with a well-funded pro-RTW candidate.

As you’ll read in my letter, I do not support any variation of Right-to-Work for a wide variety of reasons. This is another area where my opponent, Free Stater Mark Warden and I disagree. In fact, on the Girard-at-Large radio program on September 10, just after winning Bill O’Brien’s endorsement, Mr. Warden stated passing RTW is one of his top priorities next session. The choice couldn’t be more clear.

Please share this letter with friends and neighbors, consider hosting a ‘Gill for NH House’ yard sign (send a quick email to me), and visit my website NHGill.com to learn more. ”

Right-to-work is wrong for N.H.

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed the requirement of union membership as a condition of employment. Yet that’s what proponents of the so-called right-to-work legislation claim to be stopping. So what is the point of right-to-work?

A May 2011 U.S. Dept of Labor study revealed that workers in states with right-to-work laws are paid 9.4 percent less than states without them. It appears lower wages is the point behind right-to-work, so why would New Hampshire ask for that?

Simple: New Hampshire didn’t ask for it. House Bill 474, the primary right-to-work legislation offered in the O’Brien House, was substantially written by ALEC, an extremely partisan Washington-based special interest group funded by the Koch Brothers and other large corporations.

How did ALEC’s model legislation get into the New Hampshire House? Simple: Several state representatives are in its circle. For example, Free Stater Mark Warden asked New Hampshire taxpayers to reimburse him $300 for attending an ALEC conference in December 2010. Warden voted for right-to-work in the last session and recently stated that passing right-to-work is one of his top priorities.

New Hampshire doesn’t need out-of-staters telling us what to do. Warden’s Free State ideology and ALEC’s right-to-work legislation are wrong for New Hampshire. That’s why I’m running against Warden for state representative in Deering, Goffstown and Weare.

AARON GILL
Deering

Letter To Editor: Campaign Money or Constituents Interests?

To the Editor:

Kelly Ayotte had a simple decision to make today regarding the debate in the Senate on the US Postal Service. She could either vote with her constituents or with her lobbyist. Today she let us all know her lobbyist is who she stands with. This afternoon she voted to eliminate 6 day mail delivery( which would put the USPS in a death spiral) and amazingly voted to allow anybody to access your mailbox.  That’s right she voted in favor of a failed amendment that would allow your lawn maintenance worker or snow plow driver to see if you have any mail or medicines in your mailbox they may be interested in. Not many senators voted in favor of that amendment to the Postal Reform Bill (S1789) as no reasonable person wants strangers checking out their mail. Maybe having United Parcel Service as the 2nd largest contributor to Ms Ayotte’s leadership PAC had something to do with it? If Senator Ayotte wants to be reelected as a Senator she has to place her constituents above her campaign contributors.

Bill Brickley
Manchester 

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