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.
New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie called today’s vote “a strong rebuttal of ex-Speaker O'Brien's attacks on the middle class.” O’Brien championed the anti-worker measure in the past two sessions only to see it die both times. Says MacKenzie:
After two years of O'Brien's extreme agenda, our elected representatives made it clear that they have no appetite for bills that will lower wages and erode the middle class.
When the bill went down to defeat, union members and leaders—including Fire Fighters President (IAFF) Harold Schaitberger—in the packed gallery stood and loudly applauded. Said Schaitberger:
I want to congratulate New Hampshire lawmakers today for listening to the people and defending the rights of all the state’s employees. These so called ‘right-to-work’ bills are cropping up in legislatures all over the country, but the name hides the truth because they are designed to take away the rights of workers, not protect them.
During the debate leading up to the vote, Rep. Douglas Lay (D) warned his colleagues, “Don't believe outsized promises of benefits of so-called right to work.”
If we want to protect the lives and working conditions of people in New Hampshire, we must vote against right to work.
Pushed by extremist and corporate-backed groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), "right to work" for less legislation is under consideration in more than a dozen state legislatures. Says MacKenzie:
At a time when so-called right to work bills are being pushed in state legislatures across our nation, this vote is a strong reminder that right to work is part of a national right-wing agenda and is not right for New Hampshire against right to work for less.