CONCORD (February 8, 2017): Another hearing is underway today debating the merits of New Hampshire becoming the first right-to-work state in the Northeast. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which ardently supports the measure, submitted testimony on behalf of its members, to the House Labor Committee.
“The right-to-work debate can often be over complicated by the rhetoric of its supporters, but for our members, it boils down to one fundamental issue. At no point should an employee be forced to join a union in their place of employment unless they desire to participate,” according to NFIB New Hampshire State Director, Bruce Berke. “In order to honor the individual rights of workers throughout the state, it is imperative that they not be required to join a union, whether their place of employment was organized prior to their working there or not. Furthermore, if they opt out of membership, under no circumstances should there still be a deduction from their wages for mandatory dues.”
Testimony was heard today on Senate Bill 11 & House Bill 520 that would prohibit collective bargaining agreements that make it mandatory for employees to join and contribute to a labor union. Its passage would make New Hampshire a right-to-work state, something that no other state in the Northeast has accomplished. NFIB articulated to the committee members that right to work laws enable the worker to make a choice about union membership and that doing so will ultimately make the Granite State more economically competitive.
“Study after study shows that right-to-work states not only economically prosper over their neighbors, but additionally they attract new businesses that can be operated unencumbered by union involvement,” continued Berke. “New Hampshire’s economy would certainly be enhanced by allowing the employee and employer relationship to strengthen as they are able to privately negotiate what is best for both individual parties, without being forced to comply with mandates that favor a “one size, fits all” solution. The time has come to do away with the antiquated unionized system and make room for the free market to dictate employment terms.”