By Matt Murray
Warning Angry Blogger Ahead!!!
I can barely put into words my disgust for the NH Labor Committee today. Yesterday the NH House Labor Committee voted 12-5 "ought to pass" on a slew of obviously anti-union legislation. With the exception of Herbert Richardson (R- Lancaster) the committee voted right down party lines. I have talked about most of these bills in great detail since they were introduced.
These were the bills voted out of committee included (from NH AFL-CIO PR):
- HB 1677: a new right-to-work for less bill similar to last year’s bill (Vote 11-6, four Dems, Rep. Richardson and Rep. Sullivan R-Hampton)
- HB 1685: a second right-to-work bill that is a backup in case HB 1677 fails
- HB 1645: a bill that once repealed collective bargaining rights for teachers, firefighters and other public workers; was stripped and amended in committee to allow employers to lead decertifications of public unions
- HB 1663: a bill that strips the requirement for a union to be the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit out of the collective bargaining law
- HB 1237: a bill that gives the Legislature veto power over state and municipal employee contracts
- HB 1206: a bill that prohibits automatic payroll deduction of union dues, but was stripped and amended to split increases in health insurance 50-50 between employers and employees if a contract expires
I even spoke to some of the people on the Labor Committee the other night at a town meeting. One of them told me that the committee was doing what WE (unions) wanted. WHAT? Are you kidding me? He explained to me that last year they tried to pass Right To Work and the unions said it was "unfair to have freeloaders." He continued to tell me that "now we are going make it so you do not have to cover them, and the unions complained about that." He honestly believed that bills like Right To Work and Exclusive Bargaining are going to INCREASE union membership. He told me that he is trying to help the unions. I wanted to scream (Expletives Deleted)!
What is the purpose of these bills? After 30-plus years does the Labor Committee want to dismantle labor in NH? Has something changed in the collective bargaining process that would warrant these actions? YES, and it is not from NH. PAC's like Americans for Prosperity (Koch brothers) and other TEA Party organizations are pushing to get all of these bills through. They use other organizations like ALEC to write the bills (example). It is just another example of these anti-union, anti-worker, and anti-middleclass Republicans pushing their anti-union ideologies on the rest of us in NH.
Tell them how you feel about their decision to move forward with these bills. Email them at NH Labor Committee. Tell them how disgusted you are that they would do this. While you are there be sure to thank the five people who voted to kill these bills: Jeffrey Goley (D) Charles Weed (D) Chip Rice (D) Andrew White (D) and Herbert Richardson (R)! Thank them for standing up to the TEA Party leaders in the house and working to protected the rights of the working class from the extreme "Right."