NH Labor Committee: Intentionally stacked with Republicans who are ANTI-worker freedom

Will the NH House overcome Jasper's intentionally anti-worker freedom committee picks? Photo by Kimberly Morin

On Wednesday the full New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on a “Right to Work” bill – Senate Bill 11 – which has already been passed by the senate. The bill simply puts an end to the practice of forcing workers who want no part of a union to pay “Agency Fees” to said union. Right to Work is long overdue in New Hampshire. A majority of Granite Staters want the legislation and elected a governor who said he will sign it.

Unfortunately, Speaker Shawn Jasper, supported by the unions, stacked the Labor Committee with Republicans who have allegiance to unions rather than their constituents they were elected to serve. Each of the Republicans below have ties to unions; some who are currently in unions or some that were previously in unions:

Fred Doucette (Salem) – Former union member who previously voted against Right-to-Work legislation.

Sean Morrison (Epping) – Current union member. Morrison was all friendly with the President of the AFL-CIO during the Right to Work hearing last week.

Troy Merner (District 7, includes Lancaster, Whitfield, Jefferson) – Former Union Iron Works worker. He represents an area that desperately needs the job growth other Right-to-Work states have enjoyed.

Michael McCarthy (Nashua Ward 2) – This representative’s wife Peggy, a former New Hampshire State Representative,  was actually in the audience during the Right-to-Work hearing tweeting against Right to Work. As a state representative, she voted against worker freedom.

Phillip bean (Hampton) – He’s actually a selectman in Hampton. He helps negotiate union contracts as part of his job.

All but Merner and Bean were endorsed by at least one union, the SEIU. Other endorsements may have come later, the AFL-CIO no longer has a link to their endorsements on their webpage. Bean ran as an “Independent” against a Republican and Democrat. Interesting that Speaker Shawn Jasper was also endorsed by the SEIU in his race. All five of these Republicans voted against Senate Bill 11 last week. Because of these Republicans, the bill left the committee with a recommendation of “Inexpedient to Legislate,” which could possibly be the kiss of death for worker freedom.

Anti-worker freedom Republicans intentionally picke to serve on Labor Committee

Of all the Republicans who were elected, Jasper intentionally chose anti-worker freedom Republicans to sit on the Labor Committee because he knew the biggest vote of the session would be Right to Work. A majority of Granite Staters (Democrats, Independents and Republicans) want worker freedom in the state which is one reason they elected a majority of Republicans. It’s also why they elected Governor Chris Sununu over Democrat Colin Van Ostern, who was in the unions’ back pockets. Sununu stated on that he would sign Right-to-Work legislation.

And it’s not that these Republicans can’t have their own personal opinions against worker freedom, indeed they can. The problem is they are representing their personal opinions or union affiliations. When anti-worker freedom Republican Steven Woitkun was asked how he would vote on Right-to-Work legislation if 99% of his constituents wanted him to vote for it. He gave the following, very telling, response:

In an Examiner interview with Woitkun, he said the reason he voted for Medicaid Expansion was that he received calls that were 10 to 1 for re-authorizing the program. He claims to have voted how he believes his constituents wanted him to vote. Ironically, when asked if 99% of his constituents wanted him to vote for right to work, he said he couldn’t answer that question. “It would be a tough call.”

Jasper is against worker freedom despite a majority of Granite Staters wanting this and has proven he also seems to be undermining not only the Republican majority, but his own governor as well with his committee choices. Why? This is the same speaker that was elected by a majority of Democrats a couple of years ago. Is this payback to them? Everyone knows most Democrats are in the back pockets of unions because unions work hard to elect them into office. Or is it payback to the unions who endorsed and supported Jasper’s own candidacy?

What happened to the Republican agenda?

As a Republican with the majority in every branch of New Hampshire’s State Government, shouldn’t Jasper being trying to push the agenda that was the reason Republicans were elected into the majority? Why would a Republican work against his own party, his governor and his own constituents? Not only is Jasper working against his own constituents and party but he’s working against a majority of New Hampshire voters. Members of the house may indeed be able to still push the majority agenda through but it may be tough. There seems to have been many anti-worker freedom Republicans elected this term, with the help of unions of course.

Republican Party Platform

There are a couple of things in the Republican Party Platform that specifically push worker freedom and specifically mention Right to Work. From the NH GOP site:

We believe in free people, free markets and free enterprise.

New Hampshire’s Work Force:

Uphold the right to join or avoid labor unions without coercion or intimidation; support “right to work” legislation

Support legislation to allow workers to decide the allocation of the portion of their union dues used for political purposes

Whatever Jasper’s “excuse,” he and the anti-worker freedom Republicans on the Labor Committee were elected to serve their constituents. He, as a leader, should be following the Republican Party Platform. When a majority of constituents want worker freedom and finally elect a Republican Governor who will make that happen after years of Democrat vetoes, it’s egregious to try and stop it now.

The union propaganda that is being thrown about means nothing. The economic benefits that have been proven in other Right-to-Work states also mean nothing. The most important benefit of Right to Work is worker freedom. That is why a majority of Granite Staters are demanding it. That is one of the reasons Granite State voters elected Republicans to lead all aspects of the New Hampshire State Government.