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Where Can I Get A Good Job? The Answer Is Always The Same, Join A Union

How many times have you heard that there are no ‘good jobs’ out there?  I hear it almost every day. People talk about how they can only find low-paying jobs that will barely keep their family fed.  This national trend is one of the biggest depressors of our national economy.

For the basis of this discussion, let’s start by defining a ‘good job’.  A ‘good job’

  1. pays a “living wage” of at least $19 per hour
  2. includes employer provided health insurance
  3. includes some type of retirement (traditional pension or 401k)

When was the last time you saw a job offer with all of those features? Jobs like this are getting harder and harder to find.  The Center For Economic and Policy Research has released a new report that talks specifically about the loss of good jobs.

Since 1979 the number of good jobs in the United States has fallen 27.4%.  Wonder where they went? Yes you guessed it, overseas.  All those good manufacturing jobs that helped to rebuild America after WWII, gone.   It was policy changes that led to the vulture capitalist stealing our good jobs and selling them to countries with the lowest bid, all in the name of profits.   Now we need to make policy changes that will bring these good jobs back, and we can.

There are a few ‘tricks’ we can use to turn a bad job into a better job.  Remember the three things required for a good job? Pay, retirement and healthcare.  The United States has already begun the process to create a universal healthcare plan.  Call it what you want, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act – either way it will lead to millions more Americans getting access to healthcare options they have never had before.  With healthcare, people will live healthier, better lives because they will get preventative care. And that will save hundreds of billions of dollars the government spends each year on uninsured people who – in desperation – end up coming to the emergency room for medical care.

Retirement is a little more tricky; or is it? We already have a system for that too.  It may not be the best system, however it has worked for millions for more than a quarter-century.  Social Security is another way workers can invest in their future to retire with dignity.  Yet now our Congressional Representatives are threatening that very program.  We want people to have better lives: stop cutting Social Security! Ensure that people can actually live out their golden years on the money they have invested in the government.  If there is not enough money in the program, raise the cap and bring in a little more from the people who have plenty to spare.

There are two tricks to turn a relatively bad job into a better job by these standards.  To get a ‘good’ job, workers would still need to make $19 per hour – and that means less money for corporate executives and less profit paid out as dividends.

Don’t want to settle for just a ‘better’ job relying on Social Security and government healthcare?  You want a truly GOOD JOB?  I can tell you where to get one, but first you are going to have to sign this card.  That’s right folks, the Union is the ticket that gets you to the promised land of good jobs.

Good Jobs Report Graph 3

We all know that union workers make more on average than non-union workers.  Unions are also more likely to have employer-provided healthcare and retirement options than non-union workers.  So if you want a good job, join the union.

The CEPR report confirms what I have been saying on this blog for years now.  The CEPR report even goes as far as say that union organizing has had more influence than sending all our kids to college.

“Increasing unionization appears to be substantially more effective than a comparable expansion of college attainment. Given that increasing college attainment is a long and expensive process, these findings suggest the importance of emphasizing unionization as much or more than college attainment as a key path to improving job quality.”

Unions help train workers to get good jobs.  Some states are begging for skilled trade workers. We need to organize.  We need to remove the stigma that working with your hands for a living is a bad thing.  All workers deserve the opportunity to get a good job.  We need to continue to rebuild our ranks and pull the floor up!

The Communication Workers Of American (CWA) Are Pushing To Bring Jobs Home and Raise Support For Call Center Bill

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. This is what everyone is talking about. Politicians are blaming each other for not bringing the unemployment numbers down.  Labor organization across the United States are working to pressure legislators to increase American Jobs.

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) along with the AFL-CIO have been working on the Bring Jobs Home Act.  This important piece of legislation would drastically reduce our unemployment and greatly increase our economy.

CWA has posted these two videos putting real faces to the Bring Jobs Home act and how it would be beneficial to millions of Americans.

We must continue to focus our attention on those people who are struggling to find work and ensure that our elected officials are truly fighting for us not corporate interests.

This bill will be brought back to the US Senate on March 22nd.  Call your Senator now! Capitol Switchboard – 202-224-3121

New Hampshire Union Members Celebrate Enormous Electoral Wins

For weeks now union members have been canvassing New Hampshire as part of the Labor 2012 campaign.  After making thousands of phone calls and spending every free moment knocking on doors, all of our hard work paid off!

With our help New Hampshire cast it’s four electoral votes for President Obama as part of his reelection last night. This is great news for New Hampshire and the rest of the Nation.

Here in New Hampshire many of the union locals are more excited about the other races.  We banded together to defeat Ovide ‘Scott Walker on Steroids’ Lamontagne in electing Maggie Hassan as our next Governor.  She has already assured us that she will veto any anti-worker legislation including Right To Work for less.  Ensuring that we have a labor friendly Governor was the most important part of  preserving collective bargaining in New Hampshire.  While Right To Work has already been proposed for next years session, we can rest assured it will not pass.

We also celebrated huge victories in our Congressional candidates.  Annie Kuster defeated Congressman Charlie Bass (NH-02).  We worked with Annie, who received the endorsement from almost every labor organization in the state.  Congressman Bass voted to turn Medicare into a Voucher system and gut Social Security.  While Annie campaigned on preserving the middle class and protecting our workers.

The big win did not come until after 2 am last night.  CNN was the first to call the NH-01 race for Carol Shea-Porter.  As the results were coming in, the results were all over the road.  Carol was up, then she was down.  Carol Shea-Porter will be returning to her seat in Washington DC, and removing one of the most anti-union legislators in Washington, Congressman Frank Guinta.   Congressman Guinta, who was backed by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC),  pushed legislation to end project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws.

With Annie and Carol in our corner we can get back to rebuilding the middle class while we rebuild New Hampshire’s infrastructure. We will also have two amazing advocates for protecting all of our rights as workers in Washington.

New Hampshire workers almost received the biggest surprise of all.  Shortly after the polls closed it was reported that NH Speaker Bill O’Brien had lost the largest of the two towns in his district.  O’Brien was the one leading the anti-worker charge in the NH House with attacks on collective bargaining, and Right To Work.   After hours of waiting the results finally came in after midnight that Bill O’Brien retained his seat by 25 votes.  While we never expected O’Brien to loose his seat, it would have made all of our victories just a little sweeter.

The next legislative session will be very different in New Hampshire.  We are still awaiting final results on the breakdown of the NH House, we know that the GOP has lost their 3:1 majority.  Even after all the gerrymandering in the NH Senate districts the Democrats picked up seats.  Now the NH Senate is split with a slight GOP favor at 13-11

Now we start looking to the next legislative session where we can fight to repeal the Voter ID law and other extreme legislation that was passed over the past two years.

However our future looks brighter already.

The NH AFL-CIO Announces Candidate Endorsements

Local unions have been endorsing candidates for the last few months.  With over 400 house races alone it is very hard to keep up with who has endorsed who.  Or maybe you are just looking to see what organizations support which candidates.

Almost all of the major organization in NH have come out in support of President Barack Obama, Carol Shea Porter, and Ann Kuster.

In the state races you may be surprised as some of the candidates that have been endorsed.  There are many Republicans and many Democrats who have been endorsed by labor this year.  Most of this comes from where they stood on Right To Work for less and a few other key bills in the last session.

The NH AFL-CIO has posted their list of endorsed candidates here. Here is a list of some of the people they have endorsed.





Executive Council District 3 CHRIS PAPPAS DEM Manchester

Executive Council District 4 DEB PIGNATELLI DEM Nashua



SD01 Jeff Woodburn DEM Dalton

SD04 David Watters DEM Dover Membership: AAUP

SD05 David Pierce DEM Etna

SD06 Richard Leonard DEM New Durham

SD07 Andrew Hosmer DEM Laconia

SD08 Christopher Wallenstien DEM Bennington

SD09 Lee Nyquist DEM New Boston

SD12 Peggy Gilmour DEM Hollis

SD13 Bette Lasky DEM Nashua

SD17 Nancy Fraher DEM Chichester

SD18 Donna Soucy DEM Manchester Membership: Former SEIU 1984

SD20 Lou D’Allesandro DEM Manchester

SD21 Martha Fuller Clark

SD23 Carol Croteau DEM Kingston

SD24 Bev Hollingworth DEM Hampton

Follow the link to see all the House Candidates that the NH AFL-CIO have officially endorsed.

Nashua, Hollis-Brookline Residents Beware Of Jim Luther!

The State Senate Race for District 12 is getting hotter every day.  Democratic candidate Peggy Gilmour is vying to get her old seat back.  Peggy understands the middle class and their struggles.  As a nurse she has seen more and more the growing need for expanded healthcare for Granite Staters.  She recently told the Nashua Telegraph editorial board that she was in favor of expanding insurance coverage in NH by offering Medicaid to those current lower income families who cannot afford insurance.  She also said

“An insurance exchange would allow patients to choose the best insurance plan that covers their health care needs.”

While Mrs. Gilmour is working to expand access to care, her opponent Sen. Jim Luther is working to limit all government services.  Sen. Luther states on his website

“I was proud to work with leadership in both chambers to rein in state spending by 11% and still reduce taxes.”

While the Legislature did reduce spending and state level spending, the cities and towns are now paying the price.  Many towns had to raise their property taxes to handle the ‘downshifting’ costs from the Legislature.

Sen. Luther is also singing a different tune now.  After the massive cuts to the University of New Hampshire Budget, Sen. Luther told the Nashua Telegraph that he “would like funding to be restored to higher education.”  I am sorry Senator you cannot have it both ways.  You cannot advocate for the budget that slashed the UNH Budget by nearly 50% then tell people that we need to increase funding to the colleges.  That is what you should have done as our State Senator and not use it as a campaign speech.

Peggy Gilmour knows how to tell what is important to an elected official.  She told the Nashua Telegraph

“A budget is a statement of priorities”

Sen. Luther also sponsored other legislation that would take money from self-funded operations and place it into the ‘general fund’.  He tried to take the money from the NH Department of Labor and the Department of Environmental Services.  He was also prime sponsor the school voucher bill that would take money from our public schools and give it to private (for-profit) schools.

As if that were not enough reason to vote for Peggy Gilmour in the upcoming election, here is one more.  RIGHT TO WORK (for less).  Sen. Luther is a proponent of Right to Work legislation.  He told the Nashua Telegraph the same old line that Speaker O’Brien could not prove.

Luther said he supports New Hampshire becoming a Right-to-Work state.

Luther shared a story from two weeks ago when he spoke with a man who has operations in the Granite State and Massachusetts.  Luther said he was told the man is looking to build an $11 million plant in Brockton, Mass., but would be willing to build it in New Hampshire if it became a Right-to-Work state.

If this were true then why would he not tell us the name of this business?  The same reason that Speaker O’Brien did not tell us, because it is a made up story.

Peggy Gilmour strongly opposes Right to Work (for less) legislation.  In an emailed statement she said:

“Right to Work is not good for NH.  Right to Work states typically have lower wages.  Business groups acknowledge that prospective employers rarely, if ever, consider right to work part of the decision to locate in NH.  And, the government should not interfere with the right of employers and employees to negotiate between themselves.  NH families will not be well served by right to work legislation.”

If you want a strong advocate for the middle class and a State Senator who will work to protect your rights in the workplace, Peggy Gilmour is your only choice.  Unlike Sen. Luther she will fight for funding for the UNH Schools before the cuts are made, not after.  She will oppose Right to Work (for less) and attacks on collective bargaining in any form.


NHLN Election News: Ovide Lamontagne’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

MANCHESTER – Despite this being his fourth run for major public office, the past week has been extremely tough for Ovide Lamontagne, especially when it comes to issues important to middle-class families. From opposing equal pay laws to dropping in the polls to being forced to address his radical ideas on women’s health care and more, Ovide Lamontagne had what can only be described as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

In contrast, Maggie Hassan continued building strong momentum for her vision to create jobs and keep the economy moving forward, taking a six-point lead in the latest UNH poll and receiving endorsements from the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association, the New Hampshire Association of Police, and the Keene Sentinel.

The choice for New Hampshire voters was clear on a daily basis:

Sunday, October 21:

Ovide’s week got off to a rough start when, at a Manchester debate, the very first question – submitted by a member of the audience – asked about a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, forcing Ovide to once again avoid his radical ideas that would restrict health care choices for women and make basic services like birth control, cancer screenings, and breast exams more expensive. Ovide responded by saying, “I’m disappointed that Maggie and her supporters continue to raise an issue that is not central to this election.” Unfortunately for Ovide, that very same day, a front-page Concord Monitor story reported[i] that Lamontagne would defund Planned Parenthood, supports a constitutional amendment to make all abortions a crime, and opposes a woman’s right to choose even in cases of rape or incest, and that he has been courting national anti-choice groups like the Susan B. Anthony List, which endorsed Lamontagne’s campaign last week.

At the very same time the debate was taking place, Ovide’s taped interview on WMUR’s Close Up program was causing him more problems, as he once again tried to mislead voters and hide his radical opposition to accepting federal funds for critical New Hampshire projects. When Lamontagne was asked if he would have accepted federal stimulus funds for the Manchester Airport access road project, Ovide again tried to mislead voters by stating, “Well I sure would have if I were governor of the state of NH. If I were in Congress, I would take a different position.” [WMUR, 10/21/12] Lamontagne is on record dozens of times opposing the federal stimulus and has even gone as far as attacking former Attorney General and current U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte for using stimulus funds to help start a NH Cold Case Unit.[ii]

Monday, October 22:

Monday would be no better for Ovide, as a national website reported that 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 of a New Hampshire law intended to require pay equity between men and women. The remarks again demonstrated how far out of touch Lamontagne is with the issues that matter to New Hampshire women and how much his radical ideas would hurt middle-class families. [ThinkProgress.org, 10/22/12]

Tuesday, October 23:

Ovide’s radical comments on equal pay continued to make waves, with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen commenting “Pay discrimination doesn’t just hurt employees.  It endangers the families who depend on the women who are working. This is not about micromanaging business. It’s about what’s fair for families in New Hampshire and across this country.” [Union Leader, 10/23/12] But the news got even worse for Lamontagne when the latest poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll showed a six-point lead for Hassan– and 13-point lead among women –indicating significant momentum behind Maggie’s campaign.

Additionally, it appears that the misleading personal attack on Maggie Hassan’s family might be causing a backlash, as WBIN interviewed a group of women Republicans who were highly upset about the ad, with one saying “I think think it’s ridiculous. Whoever started that ad didn’t look into the whole idea.” [WBIN, 10/23/12]

Wednesday, October 24:

Things continued to spiral for Lamontagne on Wednesday, as New Hampshire news outlets reported on his campaign’s tortured attempts to walk back Ovide’s radical opposition to equal pay laws.  As the Union Leader reported, a Lamontagne campaign spokesman claimed, “Is it the government’s role to come in and say, ‘You will be paid X dollar amount in relation to another employee making X dollar amount? That’s what he means by micro-managing,” reinforcing Ovide’s initial statement opposing common-sense pay equity protections.

But Ovide had just what he was looking for to change the subject: an event featuring a who’s who of failed governors, including Chris Christie, the governor of the 47th ranked state in economic growth; former Governor Craig Benson, who was plagued by ethical problems during his one term in office; John H. Sununu, who increased state general fund spending in each of his budgets by more than 20 percent; and Steve Merrill, father of the Business Enterprise Tax.

Thursday, October 25:

Just when Ovide thought he had seen the worst of it, the Keene Sentinel released their endorsement of Maggie Hassan, touting her as “a respectful voice of reason and conscience.” Conversely, the Sentinel blasted Lamontagne for his radical ideas saying his “insistence that his staunchly conservative views on abortion, gay marriage and other social issues are simply not important in this election. The issues are there, whether simmering quietly or boiling over as they did recently under the current Legislature. For Lamontagne to say they shouldn’t matter to voters, while at the same time signing conservative social advocacy group pledges, attending earlier this year an anti-gay marriage rally and saying he’ll sign conservative social legislation if it crosses his desk, is disingenuous at best. The past two years have put New Hampshire’s long tradition of personal freedom in jeopardy, and Hassan stands as an antidote to those who would further chip it away.”

Friday, October 26:

Finally, Ovide has decided to cap his anti-women themed week by campaigning with Mark Steyn, a radically right-wing, anti-women media personality. Steyn has repeatedly issued attacks on women’s rights and prominent women in politics, including Elizabeth Warren, Sandra Fluke and Michelle Obama, and who has called woman’s right to choose “frivolous,” reinforcing Ovide Lamontagne’s own extreme views on women’s issues.

“You would think by the fourth time through Ovide would be better at this, but it seems there is no way for him to escape his radical ideas that would hurt middle class families and New Hampshire’s economy,” said Matt Burgess, Maggie Hassan’s campaign manager. “Maggie will keep New Hampshire moving forward, with an innovation plan to create jobs and help businesses grow, while Ovide Lamontagne’s agenda will take New Hampshire radically backwards.”

Ovide Lamontagne has said he would be a “radically different” governor than Governor Lynch[iii], with extreme positions like rejecting federal funds for local schools[iv] and ignoring rising tuition costs caused by cuts to higher education.[v] He supports plans to dismantle Medicare[vi], criminalize abortion and limit insurance coverage for birth control[vii], and defund Planned Parenthood, increasing costs for critical health care services for New Hampshire women and families.[viii]


[i] Social Issues Simmer, Concord Monitor, 10/21/12
[ii] Federal grant may fund cold case unit, Eagle Tribune, 5/24/09; Lamontagne takes aim at rival Ayotte, Union Leader, 7/22/0
[iii] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkr_WSOovsk&feature=relmfu
[iv] Ovide rejected federal money to help K-12 NH public schools raise educational standards [Concord Monitor, 8/9/2010] and has said he would do it again [WGIR, 7/24/2012]
[v] Ovide has said tuition increases were not of “utmost concern” [WMUR, 9/6/2012]
[vi] Ovide believes state legislature should opt-out of Medicare and run program itself [Ovide2012.com, Union Leader, 2/10/2012]; supports Paul Ryan’s voucher program to end Medicare as we know it [NH Farm Bureau, 8/2012];
[vii] Supports a “Human Life Amendment” that outlaws all abortion, and even some forms of birth control and fertility treatments [Cornerstone debate, 6/5/2010]
[viii] Ovide supports Bill O’Brien’s decision to completely eliminate Planned Parenthood funding [NHPTV, 2012]


NH Congressional Candidate Carol Shea-Porter Say Today We Thank Working Poeple

Many people already know former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter from her time in office.  She has worked with Labor for a long time.  As Paul O’Connor, President of the Metal Trades Council at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard said,  “we have come a long way”.   O’Connor talked about how the Congresswoman stood with workers when the Bush Administration tried to take away the rights of workers in the Federal Sector.  O’Connor stated, “For that we thank you”.

“Carol is a strong supporter of working people, not just in New Hampshire but across the nation”.  O’Connor continued, “Carol shares our values and our beliefs 100% of the time”.

Carol Shea Porter in Concord opposing the repeal of collective bargaining for public employees in 2012

Former Congresswoman Shea-Porter talked about how Labor Day used to be a “big deal” in her Republican home growing up. “This is the day we thank working men and women.” However that message has changed, dramatically Shea-Porter exclaimed.

Shea-Porter talked about what is at stake this year. She said, “We need you on that field, playing your hardest, because the team that plays the hardest wins”.

The former Congresswoman also talked about the vast amounts of money coming into the elections.  She highlighted the fact that she has signed on to a Constitutional to say that “corporations are not people”.

Listen to the entire speech from Former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

NH Labor News 9/1/12: PFF Enact 9/11 Stair Climb on 9/9/12, Workers Paid Below Minimum Wage at RNC, Voter Fraud (Susan Bruce Op/Ed), Education and NCLB, and more

FYI Expect a lot of posts over Labor Day. Many posts from Labor Unions and Op/Eds in support of labor this Labor Day.

9/11 Stair Climb will honor 343 firefighters | New Hampshire NEWHAMPSHIRE: “MANCHESTER — The city will again host the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, this year on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Brady Sullivan building.

The city is partnering with the Fire Instructors and Officers Association of New Hampshire to host the region’s only 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb commemorating the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 and honoring the 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives that day.

The event coordinator, firefighter Bill Campbell, said: “Last year the response to this event was outstanding. People from across the region, in support of fire service, came together in honor of our fallen FDNY brothers and to pledge that we never forget the 343 heroes that gave their life that day. This year we continue the stair climb tradition.””

RNC Convention Workers Being Paid Below Minimum Wage: “Carolyn Walker said she has been cleaning the convention center for 13 years. She had been making $8 per hour until a few years ago, when the cleaning contract went to another company, Cleanevent USA. The new company meant a new, downsized paycheck. She’s now making minimum wage — $7.67 per hour. But that wasn’t the only hit to her wallet.

Walker said the company charges her $6 per week for uniforms. “It stinks to tell you the truth,” she said. “We work very hard.” It effectively means she’s making less than Florida’s minimum wage.”

susan the bruce: Voter Fraud/Water Fraud: The NH legislature pushed through a Voter ID law for our state, despite the absence of proof of any actual fraud occurring. There’s a lot of anecdotal talk of “busloads of people from Massachusetts” coming to the polls and voting, by people swearing they’ve seen it. Under questioning, however, they were remarkably passive in the face of massive voter fraud. Not a one of them ever so much as mentioned it to the cop stationed at the polls, nor did they tell moderator, call the Sec. of State or the AG’s office, or even take a picture with their cell phone.

Voter fraud has always been a solution in search of a bunch of actual election thieves, and thanks to ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) Voter ID laws were passed in a number of states over the last few years. A percentage of voters in each of these states have been disenfranchised. That was the goal: to make sure poor people, students, poor people of color, and old people weren’t able to vote. If they could only get rid of that pesky 19th Amendment, they’d be well on their way to the dictatorship they crave.”

$23M 6,000-foot runway project ensures smoother landings, airplane takeoffs in Nashua | New Hampshire NEWS02: ““To have a city of this size to have a gem of an airport like this is unheard of,” said Mayor Donnalee Lozeau prior to cutting the ribbon on the freshly-paved runway alongside Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH.

“(We) have often talked about the business that comes in through this airport, that people just don’t even realize,” Lozeau said. “They just don’t realize the economic value of it. But the good news is that those of us who need to realize it, and that sell the city, know very well all that you’re doing.””

State looking for greater local control over education | New Hampshire NEWS06: “The department late Thursday afternoon released a draft waiver request it will send to Washington next week seeking to exempt the state from many of the current No Child Left Behind Act requirements.

“The NH Department of Education believes that for too many years, New Hampshire along with every other state, has had to operate pursuant to the provisions of an outdated federal education law, which, while well intentioned, does not support a holistic and a rational accountability structure or the focused and meaningful supports schools need,” education officials write in the draft waiver.”

State would focus on college, career readiness under NCLB waiver – NashuaTelegraph.com: “New Hampshire students may soon be less focused on standardized tests and more focused on ensuring they are college and career ready if the state’s waiver of No Child Left Behind is approved.
The state’s plans under such a waiver would include bringing all graduating students to college and career readiness by 2017.”

State Supreme Court backs state in fight over pension fund | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — The state Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court ruling and denied a challenge regarding state funding to the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS).”

Scott Walker: Radical chic – Salon.com: “The 2008 platform affirmed “the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws” in the same breath as the right of workers to bargain collectively. In contrast, the 2012 version “encourage[s]” states to pass such laws, and endorses “the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.” In January, Romney told a debate audience, “Right to Work legislation makes a lot of sense for New Hampshire and for the nation.””

Our Work, Our Identity | New Hampshire Public Radio: “But the current recession may have hastened a change he says was already underway: more people living with a series of short-term jobs, instead of lifetime occupations.

A study by the National Employment Law project released this week found that most of the millions of jobs lost since 2008 paid solid middle range wages; most of the new jobs filled have been in the low range.”

A great image to share today from the WI AFL-CIO.  One of the NHLN Fans who is an Iron Worker by trade once told me:

Iron Workers don’t go to the office, we build it.

Show your support for all workers by sharing this image.  Remember Corporations did not build that bridge, Iron Workers did!
Click here to share their image on FB

NH Labor News 8/23/12: Middle Class Earning Shrinking, NH Hit With OSHA Violations, Construction Workers File ULP Against Employer and more

Pew: Middle Class Poorer, Earning Less And Shrinking | New Hampshire Public Radio: “They show that the median household income for example, dropped from $72,956 in 2000 to $69,487. Perhaps the most dramatic figure is that median net worth took a major hit during the recession. It plummeted from $152,950 to $93,150.

Another interesting graph shows that in past decades, the middle class continues to lose ground to upper incomes when you aggregate household income.

For example in 1970, the middle class held 62 percent of the income in the country. The upper income held 29 percent. Those numbers have now flipped: The middle class is at 45 percent and the upper income class is at 46 percent.”

How Citizens United Plays out in NH
Most Campaign Money Remains Hidden In New Hampshire | New Hampshire Public Radio: “With the 2012 primary less than three weeks away, candidates for state office in New Hampshire have until midnight Wednesday to file their first campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office.

The reports list donations from individual supporters, as well as contributions from political action committees, state and national political parties, lobbying groups and corporations.”

OSHA Cites New Hampshire Foundry – Recycling Today: “The foundry faces a total of $185,900 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Concord, N.H., area office, which was opened in January 2012.

The most recent inspection found two employees exposed to excessive levels of lead during foundry operations, as well as a lack of sufficient engineering controls to reduce lead exposure levels. According to OSHA, the foundry’s management also failed to conduct additional lead exposure monitoring when alloys with higher lead content were used and the ventilation system was not working. Subsequently, OSHA has issued citations with $181,500 in proposed penalties for the violations.”

Construction Workers Allege Unfair Pay Practices at East Hartford CVS Site – Hartford Courant: ” Workers at a construction site where a new CVS pharmacy is being built have filed complaints with the state alleging that the contractor has failed to compensate them fairly.

Four individuals who previously worked as subcontractors with East Coast Executive Drywall, a non-union New Hampshire-based company, have filed wage claims with the state Department of Labor, which is investigating, according to the department.

Bob Corriveau, a representative of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters union, which is helping the workers, said that at least six of the employees who worked for the drywall company are owed money for overtime hours worked since June.

The drywall company had also been doing work at a Gales Ferry CVS construction site, but returned to New Hampshire for unknown reasons and did not issue final paychecks, Corriveau said.”

Ayotte tours Exeter defense company, voices opposition to spending cuts | New Hampshire NEWS02: “U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., praised New Hampshire’s defense suppliers for their support of the nation’s military Wednesday and expressed concern about spending cuts she says could threaten national security and force thousands out of work.

“It’s still a very dangerous world out there ladies and gentlemen. This is not a time for us to undermine our national security,” Ayotte told workers at Cobham in Exeter during a stop Wednesday afternoon.”

Ovide Tells You In His Own Words How He Plans To Rip Apart New Hampshire’s Middle Class

You asked for it! Ovide supplied it.

This week Ovide Lamontagne released an Op/Ed in the NH Union Leader titled “Ovide Lamontagne: Candidates should answer your questions, so here goes“.  The big thing is there is nothing new in this editorial however since he wants to highlight his points, I thought I would also highlight some of the “NOvide 2012” points too.

— School funding: I support and have fought for a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to delegate educational policy making and funding to local communities while targeting state aid for education. Failing to do so leaves us on the path to a broad-based tax and limits real education reform. We should work to decentralize the delivery of education through site-based management, giving control to local leaders. I will continue to support reforms that encourage school choice.

Yes Ovide is pushing school vouchers.  He wants to be able to allow people to attend any school they want while taking the taxes from your town.  He wants your hard earned money to pay for private religious schools.  Strike 1.

— The structure of government: I would seek to amend the influence of the executive branch in two ways. First, the time has come to reform the appointment process to ensure that a new governor is allowed to appoint the heads of major state agencies upon taking office. Second, I support a constitutional amendment authorizing a budget line-item veto, providing the governor with a check to keep spending low and our budget balanced. I would seek to make the executive branch weaker by calling on the Legislature to stop delegating rule-making authority to unelected bureaucrats at state agencies, and instead pass complete bills that do not require rulemaking.

This one is very confusing.  He wants to be elected Governor while at the same time seeks to reduce the power of the executive branch.  He also wants to give his TEA Party ally,  Bill O’Brien, and the extremist in the Legislature more power.  He wants to make it that the Legislature has all the rulemaking power.  We definitely do not need the Tea Party extremists to have more power.  Strike 2

— State pension plans: Despite significant efforts to reform the state pension program, we face a systemic problem. We must transition away from defined-benefit plans. With my own law firm and then during my time as chairman of the board of St. Mary’s Bank, we successfully transitioned from a defined-benefit plan to a defined-contribution plan. As governor, I will seek to do the same for all new state employees.

This is only step one in the Ovide anti-worker plan.  He first wants to take away your pension.  That is if he does not give your job away first.  He also wants to “Privatize” the State Department of Transportation.  (See also our NHLN Post on Privatization of the DOT)

He has already made his anti-worker agenda very clear when he stated “Scott Walker on steroids”.  For those who work for public agencies, Ovide will be coming directly for you.    He will not stop at the Department of Transportation either.  How long before all the prisons are privatized?  I wonder what else he can privatize?



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