When the IBEW and CWA workers said they were about to go on strike against FairPoint Communications, I knew they were in for a long fight. The decision to walk is not an easy one. Workers weigh the decision to walk against their personal financial situation. How long can we afford to go without pay?
New Hampshire's elected and community leaders marked Equal Pay Day with the traditional press conference—and a critical step toward ensuring that women receive a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. Shortly before a paycheck fairness bill, S.B. 207, was heard in the New Hampshire House Labor Committee, representatives from women’s groups and labor joined elected leaders at the Statehouse to commemorate the strides being made in New Hampshire to address pay inequity.
Forty faith, labor and community activists prayed, sang and protested outside Manchester’s Norris Cotton Federal Building this afternoon to express outrage about recent actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in area homes and businesses.
If New Hampshire’s lawmakers are “serious about encouraging New Hampshire's economic development, they will consider re-establishing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation,” writes New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie in a column on SeaCoastOnline, a website for several state newspapers.
In 2011, Republican legislators repealed the state’s minimum wage law. Rep. Carol McGuire (R) went so far as to suggest that there should be no wage floor at all and if an employer wanted to pay $5 an hour that was just fine with her.
It was no charming third time for former New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien (R) as the state House of Representatives decisively defeated (212-141) a "right to work" for less bill sponsored by O’Brien who no longer holds the speaker’s post.
Seniors and veterans showed up at a "Fix the Debt" event in New Hampshire to tell Honeywell CEO David Cote that if he really wants to fix the debt, he should have Honeywell pay its fair share of taxes. Cote is one of a number of wealthy corporate leaders in the "Fix the Debt" coalition, which advocates for cuts to benefits like Social Security and Medicare and is pushing for lower corporate taxes. Advocates for working families and their allies point out that many of the "Fix the Debt" companies engage in loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
An unknown number of workers who are helping with the recovery after Superstorm Sandy may have difficulty casting their votes today because they are away from their home states. New Hampshire elections officials are doing what they can, as required by state law, to help make sure those workers can cast their ballots.