Jon Israel, a Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) member, didn’t plan on falling off the roof of a house he was working on in Barrington, R.I. a few weeks ago. He also didn’t plan on the local labor movement organizing a holiday fundraiser to help his family get through his recovery from the serious injuries he sustained from the fall.
Yet there is a long history in the labor movement of stepping up community service during the holiday season. In Rhode Island, local labor unions are starting early with the holiday cheer this year. In addition to the fundraiser for Jon Israel, union members in Rhode Island are organizing a wide variety of community service opportunities.
Workers in New Hampshire have fought for two years to block attempts to pass "right to work" for less laws and dismantle collective bargaining. Now, depending on the election in November, they could face two more years of attacks on their rights.
An anti-labor Republican who has labeled himself "Scott Walker on steroids" swept the Republican nomination in New Hampshire's gubernatorial race last night. Ovide Lamontagne, a Manchester lawyer and perennial candidate for New Hampshire's higher offices, is a Koch brothers' dream candidate: he vocally supports "right to work," believes in abolishing the minimum wage and supports funneling taxpayer dollars for education into private religious schools.
New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O'Brien's dictatorial attitude hasn't helped him pass "right to work" for less laws, collective bargaining restrictions or a voter ID law. Now that heavy hand appears to be coming back to haunt him in major ways.
Can a former coal miner win an election against a millionaire? Just ask Clyde McKnight.
A retired coal miner from southern West Virginia, he worked for more than 30 years in the mines and currently serves as the South Central AFL-CIO president. McKnight defeated millionaire and former gubernatorial candidate Melvin Kessler in the Democratic primary by a razor-thin margin of 52 votes this past Tuesday, a win in large part to the grassroots efforts of working people.
If madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, it may be time for N.H. House Speaker William O’Brien to get a little help.
As we had all predicted, O’Brien held a vote on New Hampshire’s newest so-called right to work bill (H.B. 1677). Predictably, it passed. Predictably, it didn’t get the two-thirds vote needed to overturn a governor’s veto.
The vote count (198-139) was essentially unchanged from last year, leaving workers and labor leaders asking: What exactly was the point?