Unions Win: Right-to-Work Fails in New Hampshire

Verizon_Workers_Strike-0401
Creative Commons License photo credit: pweiskel08

Just moments ago, the New Hampshire House attempted to override Gov. Lynch’s veto on Right-to-Work. Unfortunately, the veto override failed 240-139, a mere 14 votes shy of the needed two-thirds.

However, the supermajority vote in the Senate and near-supermajority vote in House shows that there is very strong support in New Hampshire for Right-to-Work. New Hampshire is only one supporting Governor away from enacting Right-to-Work which could happen as early as 2013 (New Hampshire’s Governor is on a two-year term and Gov. Lynch has announced he will not run again).

Another thing we should also worry about are the actions of the anti-Right-to-Work forces who stopped at nothing to get their way. Consider these shenanigans as reported by New Hampshire Speaker O’Brien:

That’s why I have become seriously concerned about the coercion, threats and outright intimidation specific to the Right to Work issue that we have learned some of our colleagues have suffered. Here are several examples, some of which have just come to me today:

• One older representative was told that public emergency personnel might not respond in a timely fashion if they learned of a problem at this representative’s home after a vote to support Right to Work.

• Another representative’s daughter attending a public school was told that she would not be an appropriate candidate for a captain of her basketball team should her parent vote in support of Right to Work.

• Yet another representative who has been supporting the veto override was first told by his public employer he had to work tomorrow. Then he was unexpectedly called in by the head of the employing agency and told that he would be allowed to go to Concord to vote, but that, given the presence of the two unions that had members at the agency, he really needs to vote against Right to Work.

• A representative’s spouse was threatened on the job based upon a vote for Right to Work, leaving that spouse with the impression that he might lose his job or suffer worse consequences if that vote was not for the union bosses.

• A representative’s spouse was told in a telephone call from a senior union official that their pension could be in jeopardy if this representative voted in favor of Right to Work.

These are examples that go beyond the pale, yet do not include the numerous other instances in which union bosses have subtly implied veiled threats against representatives on this issue.

How many more instances of intimidation went unreported? These tactics simply do not belong in America.

Oklahoma’s Improved Economic Performance Suggests Right to Work Is Working

My latest study for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs finds that critics of Oklahoma’s right-to-work law are wrong. From the study:

On September 25, 2001, Oklahoma voters went to the polls and passed a constitutional amendment—Right to Work (RTW)—which gave workers the choice to join or financially support a union. This made Oklahoma the 22nd state (plus Guam) in the union to join the ranks of RTW states.

However, RTW was soon challenged in court, and the matter rose all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. It took two years of legal wrangling before all the challenges were settled. When the dust settled in 2003, RTW remained in place—along with the promise of greater economic performance.

Fast forward to today, and opponents of the law are still at work trying to discredit it. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), for example, claimed that RTW in Oklahoma has been a dismal failure. One of EPI’s most important pieces of evidence is that manufacturing employment is lower today than it was before RTW.

But EPI’s view on the economic impact of RTW is simply too narrow. RTW is about giving businesses and their employees the flexibility to create a better economic future. There are two ways to accomplish this: the company can hire additional employees to boost output, or the company can invest in new capital to boost output through higher productivity.

Just because manufacturing employment fell does not mean that Oklahoma’s manufacturing sector is in a death spiral. In fact, the opposite is true. It is widely known that America’s manufacturing industry has been shedding jobs thanks in large part to technological advancement. Today’s American manufacturing worker is one of the most productive, if not the most productive, in the world.

. . .

In summary, we have presented new evidence that RTW has been a boon for Oklahoma. Manufacturing output and productivity have outpaced the competition, and people from non-RTW states are voting with their feet by moving to Oklahoma in increasing numbers. This evidence from Oklahoma should help convince policymakers in other non-RTW states that RTW is good economic policy.

The chart below shows that since 2003, Oklahoma’s Gross Domestic Product for the manufacturing industry has not only grown faster than for all non-right-to-work states, but also faster than all right-to-work states.

Chart Showing Gross Domestic Product of Manufacturing Industry in Oklahoma 2003 to 2010

Gov. Lynch Vetoes Right-to-Work Bill

Gov. John Lynch & Dr. Susan Lynch
Creative Commons License photo credit: sskennel

As promised, Gov. Lynch (D) of New Hampshire vetoes Right-to-Work Bill.  Here is an excellent article from the National Review, Work Free or Die, that discusses the political side of the story.

Of course, Gov. Lynch had to justify his veto and did so by saying some goofy things like this:

“New Hampshire has a lower unemployment rate and a stronger economy than most states with so-called right-to-work laws,” Lynch said in a written statement.

And why do you think that is?  New Hampshire also has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country.  Might New Hampshire’s economic performance have more to do with that fact?  This is the very “New Hampshire Advantage” that Gov. Lynch has been trying to undo ever since winning office–including his LLC tax fiasco.  Right-to-Work would strengthen the New Hampshire Advantage, not weaken it.

There is still a good chance that the Legislature will overturn the veto.  First, the Senate already passed this version of the bill by a supermajority.  Second, while the house failed to pass the bill by supermajority, missing the mark by 14 votes . . . however, 31 members were MIA during that vote so only half of them are needed for override.

This is not over folks, stay tuned as the House will likely revote on May 25–only two weeks from today.  If any of my dear readers live in New Hampshire, be sure to call your Representative today and tell him/her to vote for the override.

New Hampshire Inches Closer to Right-to-Work

Today the New Hampshire House voted to send the Senate version of the Right-to-Work bill to Gov. Lynch.  The Governor has 5 days to sign it or let it become law without his signature.  However, he has already vowed to veto it.  In which case, it goes back to the Legislature for an override.

This version was already passed by the Senate with a 2/3 majority so I’m guessing that won’t problem in the override process.  However, the House did not pass its own version with a 2/3 majority.  It remains to be seen as to whether or not this particular Bill, which originated in the Senate, would garner more votes in the House than in the last go-around.

New Hampshire on Verge of Becoming a Right-to-Work State

The Union Leader just reported that New Hampshire is on the verge of becoming a right-to-work state:

The New Hampshire Senate voted 16-8 to pass a right-to-work bill this morning.

House Bill 474 would end the rights of unions to collect fees from non-union members in companies they represent, and would make it illegal for companies to deduct those payments.

Union officials yesterday said the bill is an attack on the dwindling middle class. Those who favored the bill said it is a matter of freedom and personal choice, and argued it will attract new business to the state.

Gov. John Lynch has said he will veto the bill if it gets to his desk. The Senate vote would provide enough for the two-thirds vote it needs to override that veto.

The House passed the bill 221-131, short of a veto override vote. If the House agrees with changes the Senate made, it will go to Lynch’s desk. If not, the bill will to a committee of conference for a compromise.

If this passes, there will be a new sucking sound . . . the sound of jobs pouring into New Hampshire from neighboring states.