By Kimberly Morin
Yesterday ended the week long “National Employee Freedom Week.” It is a week-long effort to inform union employees that they indeed have the option to “opt out” of union membership if they so desire and instead pay an agency fee. Right to Work is also discussed during the week as well as the benefits compared to forced union states. During the week, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) in New Hampshire released a new study that compares states with Right-to-Work laws to New Hampshire, showing that the Granite State would do better if they were to pass worker freedom laws.
In the study, AFP discusses the history and trends in worker freedom as well as the economic benefits of states who put worker freedom ahead of forced unionism. Forced unionism is when a state compels workers to join a union or pay an agency fee as terms of employment. In other words, whether a worker wants to participate in a union or not, they have to pay the price in order to work in a union shop. This affects public sector employees the most, especially in public education.
Even private sector union hero Franklin Delano Roosevelt was against public sector unions. His reasoning was that the people who are paying the salaries and benefits to public sector employees were not the people who were negotiating them with the unions:
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.
As a result, unions buy politicians their elections and then “negotiate” their contracts with the very same politicians. This is why public sector salaries and benefits are out of control and far out of line with their counterparts in the private sector. This is also why you see legislators who refuse to vote the way their constituents want like Representative Steve Woitkun who admitted that even if 100% of his constituents wanted Right to Work, he doesn’t know how he would vote. That is clearly a legislator who doesn’t represent his constituents but one who has allegiance to unions instead.
In a press release from AFP, State Director Greg Moore had the following to say about Right to Work:
Passing Right to Work would add rocket fuel to the economic growth taking place as a result of the hard-earned tax relief for employers that started in January, and the triggered tax reduction that should take place next year,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “This study fleshed out the economic boost that we would see if New Hampshire becomes the 27th state to give its residents worker freedom. Right to Work would make the Granite State far more competitive and would allow a considerable number of the over 100,000 people who have to work in Massachusetts a chance to get a good job right here. We are long overdue for this common sense bill to stop having our working families being forced to pay their hard-earned wage to unions that they don’t want to be a part of.
Many opponents of Right to Work like to claim that it’s not a good thing because it’s getting government involved in the worker/employer relationship. They clearly miss the mark since it was the government who forced unionism in states across the country in the first place. What’s ironic is unions in Right to Work states are actually stronger and growing because they have to be competitive and useful to their members. In forced union states like New Hampshire, unions can rely on the legislature to continue forcing workers into the unions whether as members or payees of agency fees.
Ironic that the SEA/SEIU (Service Employees Association of New Hampshire), aka the “purple people beaters,” also just released their endorsements for 2016. Of course the list consists of a majority of Democrats but on the list are also Republicans who are against worker freedom. You can review the entire list here. Below is the list of Republicans who are for forced unionism:
|State Senate||14||Sharon Carson (R)|
|State Senate||23||Maureen Barrows (R)|
|State House||BEL 4||Richard Brothers (R)|
|State House||BEL 4||Dennis Fields (R)|
|State House||CHE 11||Susan Emerson (R)|
|State House||COO 4||Herb Richardson (R)|
|State House||GRA 5||Bonnie Ham (R)|
|State House||HIL 2||Gary Hopper (R)|
|State House||HIL 6||David Pierce (R)|
|State House||HIL 6||John Burkush (R)|
|State House||HIL 7||David Danielson (R)|
|State House||HIL 21||Beau Bernard (R)|
|State House||HIL 29||Michael McCarthy (R)|
|State House||HIL 37||Shawn Jasper (R)|
|State House||HIL 44||Mark Proulx (R)|
|State House||HIL 45||Carlos Gonzalez (R)|
|State House||MER 23||Paul Brassard (R)|
|State House||ROC 4||James Devine (R)|
|State House||ROC 5||Martin Bove (R)|
|State House||ROC 6||Brian Chirichiello (R)|
|State House||ROC 6||Steve Pearson (R)|
|State House||ROC 6||Jim Webb (R)|
|State House||ROC 6||Phyllis Katsakiores (R)|
|State House||ROC 6||David Milz (R)|
|State House||ROC 6||Frank Sapareto (R)|
|State House||ROC 7||Charles McMahon (R)|
|State House||ROC 8||Arthur Barnes (R)|
|State House||ROC 8||Fred Doucette (R)|
|State House||ROC 8||Bob Elliot (R)|
|State House||ROC 8||John Manning (R)|
|State House||ROC 9||Sean Morrison (R)|
|State House||ROC 12||Steven Woitkun (R)|
|State House||ROC 13||Joe Guthrie (R)|
|State House||ROC 13||David Welch (R)|
|State House||ROC 14||William Friel (R)|
|State House||ROC 16||Robert Nigrello (R)|
|State House||ROC 20||Aboul Kahn (R)|
|State House||ROC 34||Mark Pearson (R)|
|State House||ROC 35||Richard Gordon (R)|
|State House||SUL 8||Tom Laware (R)|
|County Commissioner||BEL 2||Glen Waring (R)|
|County Commissioner||GRA 3||Bill Bolton (D)|
|County Commissioner||HIL 3||Len Mannino (R)|
At a time when New Hampshire could desperately use more business in the state, especially manufacturing businesses, it’s a wonder that so many legislators are against worker freedom and Right to Work laws. Unions won’t disband because of the laws. If they are afraid this would happen then maybe they should question the value of the unions. Workers should be free to choose and not be forced to pay a union master as a condition of their employment. Unfortunately, in “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, forced unionism still reigns while worker freedom takes a backseat to politicians and the unions who help buy them into office.