Blow to right-to-work legislation in N.H., despite GOP candidates' support
State Capitol building in Concord, New Hampshire.
November 30th, 2011
12:56 PM ET
3 years ago

Blow to right-to-work legislation in N.H., despite GOP candidates' support

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - The New Hampshire house of representatives failed Wednesday to override a veto of right-to-work legislation that has drawn the passing support of several GOP presidential candidates.

Supporters could not muster enough votes to block the state's Democratic governor's veto of the bill, which would prevent unions from collecting dues from non-members.

The issue has been hotly debated in New Hampshire and has occasionally bled over into the presidential campaign, when Republican candidates stumping here backed the blow to unions' power.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry touted the legislation before members of the house Wednesday less than two hours before the measure failed to garner the two-thirds of support needed for an override.

"If you pass into law a right-to-work law, you may join my home state and take over the title of the state that's creating more jobs in America than any place in this country," Perry said.

Some legislators rose to cheer his comments while others booed.

Perry added that unions "have their proper role."

"But you shouldn't be forced to join one to feed your family. It should be your choice," he said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have also spoken in support of the measure.

Huntsman also took the podium at the state legislature Wednesday, and emphasized his commitment to his campaign's New Hampshire strategy.

Both Huntsman and Perry seemed to revel in the role of addressing lawmakers from the podium. The New Hampshire house of representatives is large - with 400 members - and the presence of activists demonstrating both for and against the right-to-work legislation made for a raucous atmosphere.


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. MTATL67

    Another blow to the far right agenda.

    November 30, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    No one is forced to join unions. Remember, the Republican Party is out to destroy unions. Unions are usually found in highly skilled and specialized types of employment. Examples would be construction, operating engineers, pilots, health care professionals, etc.

    The whole reason we have the circumstance of people paying dues without having joined is because of legislation pushed for and passed by Republicans. The whole reason why we have many unions is because membership is supposed to define and represent a baseline skill set. Holding a union card means you passed the entrance requirements, which in the more highly skilled industries and positions means taking a competence test.

    November 30, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Government and businesses MUST break the strangle hold of unions on them in order to survive. American Airlines is their latest victim. How many companies, state and local governments will have to declare bankruptcy before they face reality?

    November 30, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. chumbkt

    Can somone tell me how it is right that unions are collecting union dues from non union members?

    November 30, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Common Sense

    Of course they should pay union dues – why should they obtain all the benefits of being in a union without contributing to it?

    This is the same as the fact that many millionaires are asking for tax increases and republicans / fox news keep repeating the "well they can pay more if they want to" nonsense. Why do republicans keep demanding a free ride without putting any work into it??

    November 30, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Perry added that unions "have their proper role.""

    By which he means "whipping poster boy for all the problems created by greed-is-good capitalism and deregulation." The man layed off thousands and thousands of people and MADE MONEY OFF IT. He has absolutely ZERO credibility whenever he pretends to care about the middle class and the working poor.

    November 30, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. enodot

    hhhmmmm Funny there is NO MENTION of this on the Faux News website. FAUX NEWS-Unbalanced and LESS INFORMED!

    November 30, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Bob in Pa

    The Govenor is, as politely put as can be, a donkey hybrid.

    November 30, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Fla.Pete

    Remember Mitt,Ricky,we the union worker built this country,don't forget it Repubs ,we created child labor laws,hours in a standard day(8) you can work,etc,etc...We are not China or any other 3rd world country,you will be gone before the unions are.We are the symbol of the U S not you corporate rats,who'd work your own mom to death for a buck.We built this great country not you turncoats,who have no guts,just puppets of corporate machine.Your day is near,for your last check,AMF....

    November 30, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. stevie

    Too bad. Now the unions are going to screw up NH, like they do everywhere else.

    November 30, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. New Age Independent

    @Rudy NYC "No one is forced to join unions. " But you're being forced to pay the dues?

    "The whole reason we have the circumstance of people paying dues without having joined is because of legislation pushed for and passed by Republicans. " Yet Democrats are standing in the way of having this removed?

    "The whole reason why we have many unions is because membership is supposed to define and represent a baseline skill set. Holding a union card means you passed the entrance requirements, which in the more highly skilled industries and positions means taking a competence test." Not true in my experiences. It's hit and miss at best. But why collect dues from non-members? There's no good reason to do this.

    November 30, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    How, in the US, any organisation can be given the power to deny people the right to work escapes me. But thus always with the would-be tyrants of the Left...

    November 30, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. The LONE OKIE

    NH can have all the minimun wage jobs they want. I not going to wok for a un-livable wage.

    November 30, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Bill

    Illinois should be the poster child for what unions can do to the economy. Forget the Koch brothers, unions are the real enemy to politics and the future of this great country. Unions buy elections every year and tell their rank and file zombies who to vote for while the union executives retire with millions on the backs of the taxpayers. Class warfare may be the republican play today, it is not new. Democrats started class warfare back in "1964 to give those who aint got a little more"

    November 30, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Independent Voters

    The republican party is trying there best to hurt middle class family we teach them a lesson in 2012 election to vote them out of the office.

    Vote all republican out of the office 2012

    November 30, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. diridi

    Bring Manufacturing...o.k, Bring Agriculture, infrastructure, Green Energy, etc, with education..

    November 30, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    New Age Independent asked:
    "Holding a union card means you passed the entrance requirements, which in the more highly skilled industries and positions means taking a competence test."

    Not true in my experiences. It's hit and miss at best. But why collect dues from non-members? There's no good reason to do this.
    ------------
    It is part of a strategy to erode the standard of excellence that are required of many union jobs. The people who do not join the unions obviously do not take the tests nor undergo the training. Effectively, unqualified people are allowed to "join and work" alongside union workers as equals. The erosion of the image of union workers as being highly skilled professionals is working. Your own stated observations prove my point.

    November 30, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. WiredweirdinSF

    Before long they will be coming to the democrat libs in Congress for our taxpayer money to support their inefficient, bloated, unions. Unions are corrupt organizations that exist soley to steal the money from those who have the gumption, work ethic and sense of personal responsibility and give it to incompetent, inept, corrupt union toady people that run for president.

    November 30, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "American Airlines is their latest victim."

    No, American is just another sleazy corporation seeking to weasel out of its contractual obligations.

    November 30, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Maine LIberal

    the job creation in Tx is low pay, non-union, no benefits. Union control and strength is a republican strawman.
    current job losses (outsourcing) has nothing to do with unions. the IT field is non-union, white collar, service jobs.

    November 30, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Peggy - TX

    Unless you can show that : [wages(unions)+Union-Dues[ < [Wages (w/out unions)] , then stop complaining that dues are collected so that all workers similarly situated have representation and all such workers reap the benefits, even through a few are idiots and do not want to pay dues.

    FYI, in Texas, right to work truly means “right to work CHEEP with Zero benefits”. Also just because there are a lot of available low paid jobs it is often extremely hard to get of these low paid jobs unless you look and speak Spanish.

    November 30, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. JoeP

    I worked for over 40 years before retiring, and almost all of that was spent working as a manager, NOT as a union member. Despite that, I have to bring up a point that is almost always overlooked in commentary regarding unions. No union puts a contract in place WITHOUT negotiation with management. If the union seeks concessions from management, management is under NO obligation to grant them. They are a matter for negotiation. To blame unions for bad contracts is to ignore the role of management in agreeing to the terms of the contract. Poor management is as much to blame for bad contracts as is union pressure. Local governments did not HAVE TO grant their employees lucrative pay rates and pensions, they could just as well have stood fast and held out for terms that they could have paid for. Company management could have bargained for terms that would have made their companies prosperous. Instead, they looked at the short term and took the easy way out, then turned around and tried to throw all the blame on the unions. I've been on that side of the table enough times to see that.

    November 30, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. The LONE OKIE

    The best job is a union job. Right to work doesn't create jobs, it just creates slave wages.

    November 30, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. PA_outofwork

    Collecting union dues from non-members, sounds like a crime, there needs to be investigations, prosecutions and Jail time for the union leader.

    November 30, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Former Republican, now an Independent

    It's about time someone stood up for the American Worker. Right to work legislation means that unions have to defend and bargain for freeloaders who don't pay their dues. If they don't, the NLRB comes down on the union. This is the kind of governor I wish our state had.

    November 30, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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