CONCORD, NH – Billionaires and DC lobbyists are again desperately pushing “right to work” legislation in New Hampshire after similar measures have been defeated 37 times since 1979.
If passed now including by NH politicians who’ve recently taken a series of controversial donations from corporate lobbyists, workers’ rights advocates and veterans featured in a new public information campaign say the bill could mean increased workplace deaths in the Granite State and could be expected to curtail the earnings of New Hampshire families by as much as $10,000.
Currently, workers in states where “right to work” legislation is on the books earn an average of $10,000 less than workers in other states.
Now, local families and military veterans are fighting back against the billionaires and lobbyists trying to cut the pay of NH families. In a new campaign slated to launch on Tuesday, New Hampshire military veterans say “Right to Work” legislation is the “opposite of freedom.”
In a series of TV, digital, radio, and outdoor ads that will feature New Hampshire military veterans from multiple branches of the U.S. Armed Services, the “right to work” bill is panned and debunked as a scheme to help large corporations take away the freedom of workers to earn fair wages and to negotiate with employers collectively.
“I fought for freedom overseas and this toxic bill would stifle freedom at work,” said Jeremy Allen, an Industrial Painting Instructor from Epping, NH and a U.S. Army veteran. “This would take away my freedom to negotiate alongside my co-workers for the pay and benefits that New Hampshire families like ours need. Right to Work is un-American and at odds with New Hampshire values.”
“Shame on the politicians who are being bought off with corporate donations and who are turning their backs on the freedoms we’ve fought for and the needs of local families,” said Peter Laine, a painter from Rochester, NH, and a U.S. Navy veteran. “Giving corporations total control with no checks and balances is not what freedom is about.”
Senate Bill 61 is being touted by a handful of legislators, many of whom took large, secretive donations for their 2020 campaigns.
Led by the military veterans featured in the commercials and by local workers’ rights advocates, the New Hampshire Families for Freedom coalition has come together to educate elected officials and voters, once again, on why bills like SB61 would harm the state’s economy and workforce.
The primary argument of RTW advocates is that it will boost job growth statewide, but no solid evidence has been presented to support such claims. In fact, studies show that in RTW states average hourly wages are 16% lower than in non-RTW states. These laws are simply designed to hurt union bargaining strength, thus weakening their ability to negotiate fair wages and benefits for workers.
In reality, the legislation would impact all workers statewide. For families across the country in RTW states, the median family income is approximately $10,000 less per year.
“New Hampshire workers deserve the freedom to negotiate a fair salary, earn good, family-sustaining wages and make their own employment decisions. If this legislation becomes law, it will hurt the pockets of all our hard-working families,” said Carl Gagnon, a retired Laborer from Berlin, NH, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. “That’s money New Hampshire families can’t afford to lose in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In every session for the last 30 years, including in 2017, “Right to Work” legislation was defeated in the New Hampshire State House.
In 2018, Gov. Chris Sununu declared that there’s “no need to pursue any additional legislation” when it comes to right to work in New Hampshire.
He knew federal law already prevents workers from being forced to join a union. And he also understood that the free market didn’t need more regulatory constraints on private businesses, such as those proposed in SB61.
Lawmakers realized such legislation would hurt workers and do nothing to boost the state’s economy. Legislators need to stand with New Hampshire families and reject this bill.
About New Hampshire Families for Freedom: New Hampshire Families for Freedom is a coalition of local military veterans and workers’ rights advocates opposed to so-called “Right to Work” legislation in the Granite State. The coalition will draw attention to the negative impact of these laws on families’ income and freedom. For more information about our campaign, visit NHFamiliesforFreedom.org.