A Blessing For Hard Working Granite Staters From Rev Gail Kinney

The Labor Movement has always relied on a strong partnership with the faith community. As union members we are always working to build a better community, and to help lift those others out of poverty.  This mentality has created a strong bond between unions and the faith community, as we are striving for the same goals.

This year at the NH AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast, Rev. Gail Kinney offered the blessing.  As always it was not your usual, “bless this meat, good god let’s eat,” type of blessing.

Listen to Rev Kinney give a bless for all working families.

Labor Unions Representing Tens of Thousands of New Hampshire Workers Endorse Jeanne Shaheen

Manchester — Just one day after Scott Brown declared he has no interest in promoting economic development here in our state, New Hampshire labor unions representing tens of thousands of Granite State workers including the NH AFL-CIO, SEIU, NEA, Teamsters, Iron Workers, Electrical Workers, Food and Commercial Workers, Postal Workers, and Laborers, endorsed New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen for reelection. In their endorsements, workers highlighted Shaheen’s commitment to creating good paying jobs and her record standing up for New Hampshire workers and their families. Meanwhile, Scott Brown has shown that he’s only looking out for one job, his own, after it was recently reported that he is collecting a hefty paycheck from a company that shipped jobs overseas. Yesterday, Brown declared he wasn’t going to work to create jobs in the Senate.

“I’m honored to have the support of so many New Hampshire workers and their families,” said Shaheen. “Every day in the U.S. Senate, my number one priority has always been to strengthen our economy and create good paying jobs here in New Hampshire so everyone who works hard can earn a decent living for their families. I’ll never stop fighting to increase the minimum wage, invest in our state’s roads and bridges, and close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas. These are commonsense solutions that will make a real difference for people throughout New Hampshire.”

Jeanne Shaheen has fought to strengthen the state’s economy and create good paying jobs for New Hampshire workers. She reached across party lines to secure new funding to widen I-93 and rebuild the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge, both of which created jobs for workers across the state. Shaheen stood up to members of her own party to protect thousands of jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She also voted to close tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and is fighting to raise the minimum wage because it’s what’s right for New Hampshire families.

Scott Brown has opposed increasing the minimum wage and voted to support tax loopholes for companies that offshore American jobs. Recently, the Nashua Telegraph reported that Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear his signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

“This election, we’re going door to door because there’s a real contrast in this race between someone running for New Hampshire working families and someone who’s in this race to line his own pockets,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO. “While Jeanne Shaheen puts New Hampshire first, Scott Brown puts his bank account first, refusing to resign from the board of a company that offshored American jobs to increase its profits. We don’t stand for that here in New Hampshire.”

“As a former teacher herself, Jeanne Shaheen knows the importance of ensuring every child has access to an affordable, quality education,” said NH National Education Association President Scott McGilvray. “It’s an insult to working families that Scott Brown would sit on the Board of Directors of a company that sent American jobs to China and Mexico to increase its bottom line. What Scott Brown needs to understand is that the offshoring practices he endorsed don’t just hurt workers, they hurt communities and they hurt kids.”

“Senator Shaheen has shown time and time again she can reach across the aisle and get things done for the people of New Hampshire,” said Steven Burk, NH Business Agent and Political Liason for the Ironworkers. “She’s worked to create good paying jobs here in our state, including the rebuilding of the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge, which our workers were proud to be a part of. New Hampshire working people deserve a Senator who will stand up for them, fight to increase the minimum wage, and close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas–not one who supports special interests and lines his own pockets while claiming to represent us.”

“Jeanne Shaheen understands that investing in New Hampshire’s infrastructure not only creates good paying jobs, but also strengthens our economy in the long run,” said New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David Laughton. “Scott Brown is still cashing in from his role on the board of a company that shipped American jobs overseas. While he profits, working people suffer. Here in New Hampshire, we’re not going to tolerate that kind of behavior.”

“The bottom line is Jeanne Shaheen understands that people in New Hampshire have bills to pay, kids to send to college, and food to put on the table–all while trying to save for retirement,” said Diana Lacey, SEIU 1984 President. “Scott Brown didn’t just vote for tax breaks for companies that offshore American jobs, he sits on the board of one of those companies himself.”

“Senator Shaheen supported every postal worker in New Hampshire when she personally urged members of the Appropriations Committee to protect the USPS service standards, helping to preserve a vital public service,” said Dana Coletti, New Hampshire President of the American Postal Workers Union. “Jeanne Shaheen looks out for the people of New Hampshire and has always put the families of this state first.”

“As Governor and Senator, Jeanne Shaheen’s worked to create good paying jobs by investing in infrastructure and education right here in New Hampshire,” said Joe Bonfiglio, President of the Massachusetts & Northern New England Laborers’ District Council. “Scott Brown on the other hand seems to care more about the economies of China and Mexico. He’s made a quarter million dollars on the board of a company that shipped jobs overseas to increase profits. We need a Senator who prioritizes working people here in New Hampshire, and that Senator is Jeanne Shaheen.”

We’re proud to endorse Jeanne Shaheen for reelection to the United States Senate,” said Jim Carvalho, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 Political Director. “She has a long record of fighting to create good paying jobs and looking out for working families here in New Hampshire. As a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that ship jobs overseas. Now, he’s collecting money sitting on the board of a company that touts relying on low cost manufacturing jobs in China and Mexico as a part of its business plan. That’s not the representation our state deserves to have in the Senate.”

“Jeanne Shaheen is a Senator New Hampshire working people can trust. Her top priority has always been to create new jobs and she’s delivered for New Hampshire time and time again,” said Joe Casey, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 490. “Scott Brown is in this race for nobody but Big Oil, Wall Street and himself. I can’t believe he’d vote for tax breaks for all these special interests but won’t support increasing the minimum wage so working people can support their families. Now he’s making money off of a company that shipped jobs overseas? We need to keep Jeanne Shaheen in the Senate.”

Shaheen Campaign Joins NH Labor Leaders Calling On Scott Brown To Resign From Outsourcing Company

Scott Brown Collected More Than A Quarter Of A Million Dollars Advising Company Outsourcing American Jobs

Manchester — Today, the Shaheen campaign joined labor leaders representing tens of thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families in calling on Scott Brown to resign from the Board of Directors of a company that outsourced U.S. Jobs.  The former Massachusetts Senator collected more than a quarter of a million dollars to advise the company, even endorsing their outsourcing practice of relying on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico.  Brown has refused to answer questions about his role with the company since it was revealed by the Nashua Telegraph.

Officers of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, New Hampshire Teamsters, and New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984, wrote Brown: “In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.”

Shaheen for Senate Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich said, “Cashing in on the board of company that brags about its outsourcing of American jobs to China and Mexico is another example of why Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire. Scott Brown has to answer to the people of New Hampshire who deserve to know why he was collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company that shipped American jobs overseas and that relies on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico. New Hampshire can’t afford a U.S. Senator like Scott Brown who cares more about lining his own pockets — even if it means taking jobs from U.S. workers. Scott Brown should resign from this company immediately.”

Brown even signed legal documents dated just two days before he entered New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race in which the company touted “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico” as a business strategy.  When he was a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

“In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas,” continues the letter.

See the letter New Hampshire labor leaders wrote to Brown below in its entirety:

To Mr. Scott Brown:

Our organizations represent thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families.  We were deeply troubled to read about your lucrative position with a company that outsourced jobs to China and Mexico. In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.

As the Nashua Telegraph reported in the Sunday paper, you received over a quarter million dollars as a Director for Kadant, Inc.. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you signed your name to, the company proudly touts “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico,” instead of creating American jobs.

In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas.

From 2002 to 2012, New Hampshire lost a higher percentage of jobs to China than any other state in the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute.  Families here can’t afford a Senator who is personally profiting from corporate practices that hurt our economy.  Again and again, Mr. Brown, it seems that you are looking out for your self-interests ahead of the people of New Hampshire.

We believe you owe New Hampshire an explanation about your decision to profit from a company whose practices hurt American workers, and further that you should resign from the board of this company.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

SEA-NH/New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984 President Diana Lacey
New Hampshire AFL-CIO President, Mark S. MacKenzie
New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David W. Laughton

The AFL-CIO And The NH AFL-CIO Endorse APWU’s Boycott Of Staples Inc

Momentum behind by the American Postal Workers Union “Stop Staples” campaign is growing by leaps and bounds. 

Over the last few weeks, the American Federation of Teachers in California and Michigan adopted resolutions to boycott Staples stores for their back to school shopping.

Last week AFT-NH President Laura Hainey announced that AFT-NH would also join in the boycott of Staples

“The decision to outsource neighborhood post offices across the country to a big-box retailer means potentially fewer good jobs and poorer service for our communities,” said Hainey. “Staples workers will staff these new postal counters, rather than trained, uniformed postal employees who are background-checked and take an oath to protect our mail.”

Then, just yesterday the AFL-CIO nationally has added Staples to their national boycott list, and the NH AFL-CIO adopted the resolution (view in PDF) to join the boycott of Staples stores.

The conclusion of the resolution states:

Therefore be it resolved that:

  • The NH AFL-CIO support the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) in its efforts to protect good-paying jobs and its insistence on the highest possible standards of customer service; 
  • Be it further resolved that the NH AFL-CIO opposes efforts by the U.S. Postal Service to privatize operations and to sell off valuable public assets; 
  • Be it further resolved that the NH AFL-CIO will urge friends, colleagues and family members, to no longer shop at Staples stores until further notice;
  • Be it finally resolved that this call to boycott Staples will be communicated immediately to affiliates of the NH AFL-CIO, our community allies, to our sister unions and to the news media.

“The New Hampshire AFL-CIO fully and enthusiastically supports our sisters and brothers working in real post offices across our state and nation, and we will be boycotting staples until this unfair program is ended,” said New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie.

The Postal Service and Staples are refusing to staff the postal counters with unionized, uniformed U.S. Postal Service employees who have the training and experience to properly handle U.S. mail, and who have passed back ground checks and sworn an oath to uphold the highest standards of public service.

“These Staples postal counters are staffed by low-wage, low benefit employees with little training and no credentials to handle U.S. mail. We can do better,” MacKenzie said.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the AFL-CIO in our ongoing struggle to keep the Postal Service Public. Acting together we can save this great public service from being privatized,” said Janice Kelble, Legislative Director, NH Postal Workers Union.

“Our local post offices belong to our towns and to the people of New Hampshire,” said Hainey. “Our members can decide where to buy school supplies, and we won’t shop at Staples until they reconsider this misguided program.”

Who will be the next to join the APWU’s call to Stop Staples.

The national AFL-CIO is a labor federation comprised of 56 unions representing 12.5 million members.

(If your local would like to adopt a resolution in support of the APWU’s Stop Staples campaign and need assistance, contact Janice Kelble at jkelble (at) apwu.org, or just send me the press release and details after it is adopted to NHlabor (at) Gmail.com  ATTN: Stop Staples)

Expanded Gambling Is About Creating Jobs (Testimony by NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie)

NH AFL-CIO LogoAs president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the state, I speak to workers and community leaders every day about the difficulties facing our state’s working families as we continue to struggle in the aftermath of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Now is the time for our elected leaders to step up to the plate and take real, immediate and concrete steps to create good new jobs for thousands of workers in our state.

This Committee and the entire New Hampshire House now have the opportunity to do just that. In fact, legislators have been presented with a bill, SB 366, that will guarantee the creation of a half-billion-dollar construction project, every penny of which would come from private investment.

SB 366 would create more than 2,000 jobs for New Hampshire construction workers and more than 1,000 good, permanent jobs. Furthermore, this bill will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in non-tax revenue for the state and our municipalities, allowing us to keep critical programs like education, public safety and infrastructure off the budgetary chopping block. Plus, polls show that a big majority – nearly 60 percent – of Granite Staters favor the approach SB 366 takes.

SB 366 would bring expanded casino gaming to New Hampshire. Now, I know some members of this committee personally don’t approve of gambling, and that’s certainly your prerogative. But we must come to terms with the fact that we are stuck in a situation where job growth continues to be sluggish and the state budget continually presents our elected officials with extremely difficult choices between cutting programs and finding needed revenue.

The fact is, New Hampshire will be experiencing the downside of casino gaming whether or not we build a new casino within our borders. Our state already has a $75 million-per-year casino industry under the guise of “charitable gaming,” and there will soon be several casinos just over the border in Massachusetts. Without SB 366, we’ll leave thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars on the table.

SB 366 was amended in the Senate to include provisions drafted by the bipartisan, multi-agency Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority as part of last year’s state budget process. In consultation with independent experts, the authority reviewed best practices in the gaming industry across the country to develop a true New Hampshire solution for expanded gaming.

This bill was crafted specifically to address concerns lawmakers had with previous gaming proposals, concerns we shared in many cases. We believe that SB 366 includes a comprehensive regulatory structure and robust provisions to ensure that the jobs will go to New Hampshire workers.

Although we have always supported creating good jobs for Granite State workers, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO has never officially endorsed a casino proposal before. Our executive committee recently voted unanimously to fully endorse gaming legislation this year because we are convinced the current proposal represents what’s best for New Hampshire’s working families and for our state

Creating jobs shouldn’t just be a talking point or a political slogan. Growing our economy and putting people to work should be real, tangible goals for our elected leaders. SB 366 is legislation that would accomplish these goals, and I urge the committee to support it. Together we can help rebuild New Hampshire’s middle class by focusing on creating good jobs for workers in our state. Passing this bill will contribute to that cause.

Thank you for your consideration.

Mark MacKenzie
President of the NH AFL-CIO

AFL-CIO Leads Efforts To Raise The Minimum Wage Around the Country

AFL-CIO Headquarters by Matthew Bisanz

AFL-CIO Headquarters by Matthew Bisanz

(Washington, DC – March 18, 2014) In addition to the growing effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, working families across the country have been leading movements to raise wages at the state and local level.

The federal minimum wage has remained $7.25 an hour since 2009 and wages for tipped workers have been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991.  Against that backdrop, workers, often led by local labor movements, are moving their own efforts to increase the minimum wage in several states, even where the state minimum wage is higher than the national. Coalitions across the country are working to raise wages in a variety of forms, some examples of local movements to raise wages are listed below:

Alaska: Over 43,000 signatures were collected in support of a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $9.75 over two years, with an annual adjustment for inflation. Alaskans will vote on the initiative in August.

Arkansas: A coalition including labor and community group are campaigning for a ballot measure that would eventually raise the minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 in steps over the next three years.

Connecticut: Labor groups applauded Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Student and community groups have testified in support of the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.  The bill would include tipped workers.

Iowa: Sen. Tom Harkin is the author of the federal legislation, and workers in his home state are also pushing for a bill to increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Community members have adopted the cry, “We can’t survive on $7.25!”

Idaho: Labor and community groups have joined together to spearhead a push to raise the minimum wage through the legislature in Idaho. The state has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country.

Los Angeles: The Raise L.A. campaign is focusing on raising the wages of hotel workers to $15 an hour. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor has invited Pope Francis to come to L.A. to help champion economic equality for low wage workers.

Massachusetts:Last year, workers and community members joined together as the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition to collect 275,000 signatures to put a minimum wage increase on the 2014 ballot. This spring, they are organizing community meetings and lobby days to ask legislators to pass a minimum wage increase in addition to earned sick time.

Minnesota: An active coalition of faith, labor, and community organizations is working to pass a bill to raise the state minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015 with future increases indexed to inflation. In February, Working America held their Minimum Wage Challenge Week, in which five lawmakers struggled to live on minimum wage for a week.

Missouri: A bill to increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour is currently active in the state senate. Low wage and tipped workers organized to turn out and testify at a critical hearing, helping the bill pass out of committee.

New Hampshire: In New Hampshire, the local labor movement has named raising the minimum wage one of their top priorities for 2014.  They are actively working with community allies to push a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.

Pennsylvania: A coalition of labor unions, clergy, community and women’s organizations gathered at the state capitol just this week to launch the campaign to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Bills are currently pending in the state legislature. The coalition plans an aggressive grassroots mobilization to make minimum wage a center issue in the fall elections.

Seattle: Workers and community members in Seattle are aiming to replicate the success of neighboring SeaTac with an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour across the city.  Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country at $9.19 an hour.  Hundreds have turned out to rallies and city council meetings to show their support for the measure.

South Dakota: The South Dakota AFL-CIO along with working families succeeded in getting a minimum wage increase on the ballot that will be voted on in November.  The measure would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and increase annually based on cost of living – it would also include an increase for tipped workers.

West Virginia– The West Virginia AFL-CIO led a successful campaign to increase the state minimum wage.  The bill has been passed by the legislature and sent to the Governor and would increase the state minimum wage to $8.00 to $8.75.  The bill will also include an increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers.

Building Pathways NH Is Looking For Women Interested In Working In The Building Trades

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BPNH_Flyer_2014 (1)

CLICK HERE FOR FULL IMAGE AND PRINTABLE PDF

Five weeks, hands-on training in a variety of construction trades including carpentry, electrical, sheetmetal, plumbing, pipefitting, insulating, blueprint reading, labor history, construction math, interview skills & more.

Classes begin Monday, May 12, and end Friday, Jun 13, 2014.
Free:  there is no charge for the program.

Classes meet Monday – Friday, 7am – 3:30pm (construction site hours)

Base location:  Carpenters Training Center, 900 Candia Rd, Manchester.  Students will also go to other Building Trades Training Centers as well as to an active construction site.

Students will receive OSHA 10 and First Aid/CPR certificates.  Spaces are limited – max 13 students.

Who is Qualified?

The program is designed for female New Hampshire residents who are unemployed or underemployed, who are physically able to work in construction, are 18 or older, are authorized to work in the US, have a high school diploma or GED, are drug free and agree to drug testing, are on time, are interested in a construction career, can pass an 8th grade level English and math test and who have access to reliable transportation.  Women of color and female veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply?

Attend an Information Session, 6 – 7:30 pm on March 11, 13, 17 or 24, at the Plumbers and Pipefitters hall, 161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hookset, NH.  Do NOT be late.

BPNH_Fact_Sheet2

Program Sponsors

The program is sponsored by the NH AFL-CIO, the NH State Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Carpenters Union.  It is supported by federal Workforce Investment Act funds, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and program partners.

For More Information

Contact Joe Gallagher, Building Pathways Program Coordinator, 603-948-8161, buildingpathwaysnh@gmail.com, PO Box 1097, Manchester, NH 03105.

Program information can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/buildingpathwaysnh.

Print this information from PDF here.

Click here for Printable PDF of color flyer.

High Praise For The NH Senate Commerce Committee’s Unanimous Vote For Paycheck Fairness

The Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted to recommend the passage of Senate Bill 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act.  After the vote Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen released the following statement:


”This definitive, bipartisan action by the Senate Commerce Committee affirms that both Republicans and Democrats agree we must act to close the wage gap in New Hampshire.”
 

“The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act will give the more than 60% of women working in today’s economy, as the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, the much needed tools they need to combat the wage gap.”

 

“It’s distressing that, in the year 2014, women in New Hampshire, who are working full-time jobs, still earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. National studies have found that a pay gap exists between men and women in nearly every occupation. However, with this bipartisan, unanimous vote, we are sending a crystal clear message that the Legislature is on the side of all workers guaranteeing fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.”



”I look forward to a strong vote of the full Senate and quick House action, so New Hampshire can renew our commitment to the fundamental principle of, an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

Senate Bill 207 has been cited by Senate and House Democrats as a top priority for the 2014 legislative session. All Senate Democrats have sponsored the legislation with House Speaker Terie Norelli serving as the leading House sponsor along with co-sponsors Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), Rep. MaryAnn Knowles (D-Hudson), and Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro).

Governor Hassan also showed her support for SB 207 in her statement:

““I applaud the Senate Commerce Committee for their bipartisan recognition of the need to eliminate the pay gap between our working women and men. Well over half of the women working in today’s economy are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families, and it is unacceptable that women in New Hampshire working full-time jobs earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men.” 

“This legislation will improve the financial security of working families and help business grow by putting more money in the pockets of consumers. I encourage the full Senate to continue demonstrating that, unlike Washington, in New Hampshire, we can come together on common-sense solutions by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

Aside from the political leaders in Concord many other groups voiced their praise in the committee unanimously supporting paycheck fairness.

Mark MacKenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO: “Equal pay for equal work is more than a motto – it’s the law. SB 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, is another step in the right direction. It prohibits employers from barring an employee from disclosing information about his or her wages and it also prohibits employer retaliation against an employee who does disclose the amount of his or her wages.”

Kary Jencks, Executive Director, NH Citizens Alliance for Action: “We thank Senator Larsen for encouraging bi-partisan action today to ensure equal pay for equal work. A woman’s earnings, whether she is married or not, are crucial to family support. Closing the wage gap in New Hampshire is important for the equality and economic security of Granite Staters.”

Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress: “Data shows that New Hampshire women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. SB 207 will give employees the tools they need to challenge wage gaps. Coupled with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act already in law, these two acts can help to create a climate where wage discrimination is no longer tolerated.”

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union: “We applaud the Senate Committee for its bipartisan support of this important effort to eliminate unfair gender paycheck inequities in the state of New Hampshire.”

Kimberly Pollard, Regional Organizer for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of New Hampshire: “Today, women are the leading or sole breadwinner in forty percent of households. The pay gap affects whether families can buy food, pay the mortgage, and stay healthy. By moving forward with the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Senate Commerce Committee has taken a positive step toward closing the wage gap and ending gender discrimination in the workplace.”

The Paycheck Fairness bill is about closing the gap between pay disparities between men and women. This bill is another step in the process by allowing women (and men) to openly discuss their wages with others, ensuring that they are being fairly compared to those in the same job.

Manchester Newspaper Guild Files 7 Unfair Labor Practice Charges And Pickets Against NH Union Leader

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MANCHESTER, NH — The Manchester Newspaper Guild on Friday filed seven Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against The Union Leader Corp., which employs about 75 Guild members in its news, advertising, circulation, IT and accounting departments.

The charges, and one the company filed against the local, mark an unprecedented low in the 72-year history of labor relations between The Newspaper Guild local and The New Hampshire Union Leader.

Meanwhile, the members of TNG-CWA Local 31167 continue to pressure the company, the latest effort being an informational picket Saturday, March 1 from noon to 1:30 outside the Union Leader-sponsored state spelling bee at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord. The union and company have been bargaining since September, with the company insisting on language that would gut job security and hamper the union’s ability to defend the contract, while seeking a huge pay cut and a more than doubling of health insurance deductibles. Employees have been working under a contract that expired Dec. 31.

MNG2The Guild’s charges to the labor board assert that the company has committed Unfair Labor Practices by violating the National Labor Relations Act, including engaging in surface bargaining with no real intention of arriving at a collective bargaining agreement with the union. Between September and Dec. 31, the company refused to alter the major contract retrogressions in its proposal while threatening it would withdraw those proposals Dec. 31, leaving a 20% wage reduction and even higher insurance costs on the table.

Without ever bargaining over that remaining proposal after Jan. 1, on Jan. 22 the company instead presented the union with a “Final Offer” that included an 18% wage reduction retroactive to Jan. 5, and reintroduced language that would eliminate workers’ seniority and job security language.

The union also charges that The Union Leader Corp. has refused to provide information relevant to subjects under negotiation and necessary to the union’s conduct of negotiations, has insisted upon an unreasonable confidentiality agreement before allowing union officials and their accountant to view the company’s financial records, and has refused to bargain the terms and conditions of such a confidentiality agreement.

According to the local’s charges, the union also says The Union Leader Corp. has committed an Unfair Labor Practice by insisting that a new collective bargaining agreement provide the company with complete discretion over reductions in force without any standards or guidelines.

The union also charges that the company’s retroactive wage and insurance deductible proposals — only just withdrawn on Wednesday — were illegal and impeded bargaining over wages since they were presented, and that the company’s proposals to severely curtail union activity are an unlawful restriction on employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

The company’s complaint against the Guild alleges the union has bargained in bad faith.

Recognizing the struggles faced by both the Union Leader Corp. and the news industry in recent years, Manchester Newspaper Guild members have made huge concessions in recent years, including pay cuts totaling 14.63 percent, a longer work week without additional compensation for the extra hours, elimination of personal days, reductions in sick time, increases in insurance deductibles and layoffs and buyouts of members.
Non-union and management employees — about half the total workforce — saw a smaller pay cut in 2012 and a smaller increase in health insurance deductibles in January. They currently do not face a pay cut.

The local has created a website questioning the fairness of the company’s proposal and strategy, with a petition to Publisher Joseph McQuaid that supporters can sign, at www.wtf-ul.org.

Feb. 11th Is Your Chance To Help Raise The Minimum Wage In NH

The fight over raising the minimum wage is heating up.  During President Obama’s State of the Union address he announced that he would use an executive order to mandate that all government contractors pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.  This falls in line with the $10.10 per hour proposal that the President and Democrats have been pushing for months.

During the State of the Union called for more local legislation to push for a higher minimum wage since Congress in unable to pass the proposed increase.

Tonight, I ask more of America’s business leaders to follow John’s lead and do what you can to raise your employees’ wages. To every mayor, governor, and state legislator in America, I say, you don’t have to wait for Congress to act.”

Now is your chance to help pass a minimum wage increase right here in New Hampshire.

from http://standupfl.org/event/national-raise-the-wage-day/

On February 11th the NH House Labor Committee will hear testimony for and against raising the minimum wage.  This is where you can help.  We need people to show up and talk with legislators about why it is important to raise the minimum wage.

The specifics of HB 1403 are to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 in 2015 and then to  $9.00 per hour in 2016.  The bill will also tie the NH minimum wage to inflation, which insures that workers will continue to see an increase as their cost of living increases.

Even if you are not comfortable testifying to the committee about raising the minimum wage, we still need your help.  Just being there to show your support is important.

There are multiple events going on Feb 11th as part of this consolidated push to pass HB 1403.  The Voices of Faith for Humane Public Policy and the NH Faith-Labor Dialogue Project are hosting an ‘Interfaith Prayer Breakfast Calling for the Dignity of All Workers’ at
Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, (21 Centre Street, Concord) at 8am.
(Please RSVP if you are planning to attend:
economicjustice.nhcucc@gmail.com)

After the interfaith service the NH AFL-CIO is holding a Raise the Wage Press Conference.  Those who support raising the minimum wage are encouraged to attend the press conference, which begins at 9:30 am in the Lobby of the Legislative Office Building.

Then at 10:30 everyone is encouraged to attend and sign in supporting the passage of HB 1403 at the public hearing (Room 305-307 in the Legislative Office Building). If you are interested in offering testimony for this bill, contact Kurt Ehrenberg, kurtehrenberg@nhaflcio.org for information and tips on delivering testimony.

Thousands of minimum wage workers need your help and your support to ensure the passage of HB 1403 to raise the minimum wage here in New Hampshire.