Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why Has So Called " Right to Work" Become a Legislative Priority?

In NH, it is not the most pressing issue, but today the NH Senate will vote to pass Right to Work legislation that will prohibit unions from forcing non-union members to pay fees to the union. 
NHPR did a nice job reviewing the whole issue ( here is the link), and there were two pieces in that story that made it clear why this has become a top shelf issue. 
Let me back up a bit first, because the point here is why has this issue a top priority. Throughout the latest campaign for the NH House and Senate, just about everyone campaigned on the opioid crisis in NH as the biggest problem facing the state. Where is that legislation and why isn't that among the bills being discussed on the front page of every newspaper in NH?
All I needed to see was that the biggest voice in pushing right to work is none other than the NH Chapter of the Koch brothers Americans for Prosperity. They say jump, and many of our legislators ask : how high? The AFP-NH 2017 Legislative agenda lists right to work and further cuts to business taxes as the top priorities.
(Not related to the "right to work" issues is the # 5 priority:  Repeal of  occupational licensure statues."New Hampshire should begin to repeal unnecessary licenses and sunset all other licenses to force a reassessment of each to ensure that the requirements are not unduly restrictive." How scary is that? These are the people pulling the strings of a great many of our legislators, including one of our own, AFP 100% rated Glenn Cordelli, and they follow like sheep,)
The story though can be told with one simple graph:




















The vast majority of workers in NH  are non-union ( total about 579,000) and those that are unionized (62,000), two thirds are in the public sector, teachers, some government workers and public safety. So just 22,000 or so out of a workforce of nearly 650,000 are private sector union jobs.

 Puts thing in a bit of perspective doesn't it? Our AFP robots are working diligently on solving problems that don't exist, and putting our real problems on the back burner.



2 comments:

Joseph Cormier said...

My comments are not addressing the politics of RTW, but what is it really, and how does it affect workers.

My comments are based having been a Union Steward (IBEW) in a utility company during the last days of my work life, and having been anti-union in my earlier days, when I was member of senior management in the, then, so-called High-Tech sector.

There is a false belief that there is a requirement for all workers to be members of Unions, where Unions represent the workers. Not true. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled many years ago, you are not required to join a union. However, since you enjoy the benefits of the Union contract, and the negotiating that it entailed, SCOTUS also ruled you have to pay Union dues (maybe reduced, not full).

In my view, RTW is "code" for stopping, or reducing, the amount of money going to the Unions.






Anonymous said...

Unions helped the working man. without unions you would be working six days a week. Forget below minimum wage, there would be no minimum, and that is your pay. No job safety, to borrow Pat's phrase "next man up". Right to work is only for the guy signing the front of your check.