National education and labor news

Right-to-work bill fails in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire House of Representatives rejected a right-to-work bill in a 200 –77 vote, with 32 Republicans joining every Democrat in voting down the bill. The legislation would have blocked public- and private-sector unions from collecting fair-share fees.

The state’s unions mobilized in opposition, and dozens of union members appeared at legislative hearings to testify against the legislation. “This bill is deceiving in name,” said Aaron Sturup, a member of a local carpenters’ union. “It enables other workers on the job to get our benefits without having to pay for it.”

The most recent election handed Republicans control of both the governor’s office and the state Legislature for the first time in a decade, but divisions within the state Republican Party ultimately sank the measure.

Rep. Phil Bean, one of the Republicans who opposed the legislation, told his House colleagues that letting government get in the middle of employer-employee negotiations would lead the state in a dark direction. “This is frightening language,” he said. “It’s intrusive. It’s not American.”

The bill was a major priority for New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Had it passed, the bill would have made New Hampshire the first right-to-work state in New England and the 29th in the nation.

Concord Monitor, Feb. 16
NHPR, Feb. 16
 

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