Right to Work

Right to Work is coming to the NH Legislature soon.  It has passed the Senate this year (SB11).  The following is my thoughts:

I support Right to Work.  The following rationale is provided to constituents who contact me:

I’ve thought about the pros and cons for some time over the few years I’ve been involved. I’ve come to the decision to support it. Let me tell you why.

First and foremost, I don’t believe that anyone should feel obligated or forced to join any organization in order for them to work.

Second, Right-to-Work proponents argue that paying union dues should be voluntary. Opponents argue that federal law requires unions to represent all workers at a company, so right-to-work allows non-members to benefit from union contracts without paying for representation. I used to believe this was true and in fact a flaw in the Federal law in terms of unfairness.

However, I find recently this is not necessarily true. I refer to an excerpt from a recent National Review article:

“…Federal law does not obligate unions to represent non-members. The National Labor Relations Act allows unions to sign “members’ only” contracts that apply only to dues-paying members. This is legally uncontroversial. In 1938, the Supreme Court expressly upheld union’s ability to negotiate only on behalf of members. As William Gould, chairman of the NLRB under President Clinton, wrote, “the law now permits members-only bargaining for employees” — unions can exclude non-members from their contracts. They rarely do. Instead, unions typically negotiate as “exclusive bargaining representatives.” That lets them negotiate on behalf of all employees at a company, whether or not those workers want their representation. In that case, the law does require unions to bargain fairly. They cannot negotiate one wage for union members and the minimum wage for everyone else. Unions voluntarily represent all workers because it lets them get a better contract for their supporters…”

I also believe NH could benefit by encouraging other businesses to come to the state. This would not be an overwhelming reason, but combined with other policy incentives, like lowering the business profits tax more, getting the cost of electricity lower, improving infrastructure, etc. this could be another reason to come here.

Twenty-seven states have enacted this provision. In some states, union membership has increased; a fact that would be contrary to the belief that this is a “union busting” bill. I happen to believe that some trades benefit from unions and in some cases, companies need to have them.

I am highly aware of the concerns on the opposite side, but believe this would be in the best interests of NH and could even keep or bring a younger work force into the state.

I have attended other seminars that corroborate the same facts from several sources. I have also read the opposing side’s response to each point and have made a decision.

I believe all viewpoints deserve a rational explanation, whether the opposing view believes in it or not. I respectfully respect yours and hope I at least have given you mine.


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