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
9 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. Grundoon

    Hey, Lonely OKIE: Minimum age jobs!?! What the F are you talking about!?? NH has the lowest poverty rate in the country at 5.6%. OK is 7th from the top at 15.6%. I've been to your state many times, I have family there, and it is pathetic!!! The only reason why Texas doesn't fall in to the Gulf of Mexico is because OK sucks!!! At least you beat Ricky boy's Texas in terms of those living in poverty, they're 5th, but at least they have Austin while y'all got nada.

    November 30, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. The LONE OKIE

    I'll take the $30 an hour with benefits job, you can have the right to die $8.20 an hour, no benefits job.

    November 30, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    WiredweirdinSF wrote:

    Before long they will be coming to the democrat libs in Congress for our taxpayer money to support their inefficient, bloated, unions.
    No, they won't. They know that conservatives have already emptied out the piggy bank to corporations and special interests long time ago.

    November 30, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Max

    Good! This is another sign that the democrats will certainly take control of congress comes November 6, 2012! The libs are coming!!!!!!

    November 30, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Big labor is ready to press for sending the REST of American jobs off shore.

    One wonders who is going to pay their dues, then?

    November 30, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Right to work blows

    I live in a right-to-work state, and it blows, especially for low-end workers. The only reason we have anything at all is because of the few unions that have managed to survive in this hostile atmosphere. Want to know how to really get rid of unions righties? Treat your workers fairly. Oh, but that's too much to ask of execs compensated hundreds of times over what their employees make, which is perfectly moral according to your distorted world view.

    November 30, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Nate

    "American Airlines is their latest victim."

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


    Precisely. It's an effective strategy they have though: link the collapse of any (big) business, ostensibly an acknowledged necessity of any truly "Capitalist" nation, with the growing overreach of organized workers and the federal government. Have unions truly been demolished to the extent that some areas of the country don't realize that many of their neighbors are dependable union employees?

    November 30, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Nate

    Rick McDaniel

    Big labor is ready to press for sending the REST of American jobs off shore.

    One wonders who is going to pay their dues, then?


    Shift the low skill, low wage jobs off-shore, that's. But now you're also backing the corporate practice of off-shoring in the case of highly skilled, well paid union employees. Many of which you can't off-shore because they come to your home to fix things for you (electricians, plumbers). You know, the ones that ACTUALLY built this country?

    November 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Dave L

    So a union is legally required to represent workers for free under "right to work for less". That's like the government having to give me social security and police protection, but I don't have to pay taxes. Got it? It's just a way to eliminate unions so workers can be kept weak.

    November 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "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."
    Why would they? By giving the public sector union everything that want, they've pretty much ensured the union worker's continuing support at the polls. Funny how that works, huh?

    November 30, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Marc in Texas

    If companies were well-managed, they would compensate employees at a fair rate. The blames unions get is primarily directed at pension expense – companies agreed to pension expenses that were deferred into the future. Then they underfunded them to remain profitable. Then, when that became untenable, they blamed the unions for what is just bad management and cowardice. What's funny is that corporations have pushed socialism on this country just as much as anyone, by pushing health care and pension costs on the government – costs that they used to bear. Outsourcing, globalization, and all of those other hallmarks of free trade continue to weaken the consumer in a consumer-based economy. Business doesn't care about the future beyond the next quarter (or no longer than the term of the current CEO) – at least unions look beyond that. I grew up in an area that was MADE by unions – they assured a standard of living and brought safety to an industry that was willing to dismiss employee death as a cost of doing business. The oil industry.

    November 30, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel wrote:

    Big labor is ready to press for sending the REST of American jobs off shore.
    If you are trying to say that "big labor" is trying to shoot itself in the foot, you failed. High labor costs are just a reasonable sounding excuse for the *permanent* loss of our manufacturing jobs. There are two bigger and better reasons.

    One, it is cheaper to ship raw materials to plant that it is to ship finished goods from the plans to the consumer. There nearly four times as many potential consumers in India, China, and other countries in that area, as customers in North America and Europe.

    Two, we give corporations tax breaks on their foreign tax debts. If they manufacture here, then they pay so form of taxes on that manufacturing plant. If they manufacture overseas they will still have to pay similar taxes, except they can deduct those taxes off of their US obligations. US taxpayers pay the foreign tax bills of some of the major manufacturing corporations.

    November 30, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Former Republican wrote:
    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.
    Oh, you mean like Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Texas, a state that is at or near the bottom in too many categories to list. Lowest percentages: in teen graduate rates and people with advanced degrees. Texas leads the nation in percentage of people: most living in poverty, worst polluted air and water, lowest per capita income. Texas is a society where the middle class is nearly extinct.

    November 30, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. The Greedy Old Pigs are a neocon deathcult who can't face reality

    "By giving the public sector union everything that want, they've pretty much ensured the union worker's continuing support at the polls"

    Wow, dude, a couple of big errors there. First off, union members are a small percentage of total voters (and has been decreasing for decades). Second, your little mind-reading trick of assuming all union members vote in lockstep is a major intellectual fail on your part. Union members have been dividing their votes between parties for years. Apparently you missed that obvious fact.

    November 30, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. ustaxpayer65

    Rudy, you're wrong, if you live in NH you are forced to pay union dues if you want to work in a union job. Unions like in the American Airline situation have ask, ask, ask and then demanded nothing that would have been within reason, The pilots Union ran american wanting more and more, and now american filed for Chapter 11, lets see how many are going to join the unemployment line. They are not blaming themselves but everyone else, thats the new motto.

    November 30, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. sequoia

    Dear Teabags, Can you feel the backlash yet? You will. Bring on 2012.

    November 30, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. ustaxpayer65

    Marc in Texas, wrote "If companies were well-managed, they would compensate employees at a fair rate." American bowed to the Unions long time ago and could not afford the high rate they are paying their employees, Pilot and Mechanics are the best paid in the industry. RUDY NYC, just name one, how come so many are moving to TEXAS???Is it that you have detroyed with your liberal thinking, the industries you had, and now you blame everyone else for your problem. The last time I looked TEXAS is doing pretty good and looking better every day compared to the northern liberal states.

    November 30, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    ustaxpayer65 wrote:

    Rudy, you're wrong, if you live in NH you are forced to pay union dues if you want to work in a union job.
    I am not mistaken. You are. You should read what I actually wrote.

    Maybe if the pilots, and other employees, didn't see executives giving themselves larage pay raises and bonus checks over the past few decades, then maybe the unions would ask for so much. I think if you look at the actual pension payments you might be surprised.

    Verizon just went through similar debacles a few times over the past decade. They have some 300,000 retirees. The pension fund board of trustees (all of whom are retired executives) voted to decrease annual payments to the retired hourly workers, while voting to increase (their own) annual payments to retired salaried eimployees and retired executives. Retired executives and salaried employees made up roughy 5% of the total retirees, but they accounted for 90% of the annual payments. In fact, the retired executives made up just 0.1% of the retirees, but accounted for 50% of the costs.

    Verizon is typical of most corporations in America. Many funds also took a hit, just like your 401k, during the financial collapse. Funds that made high risk investments, which they shouldn't have done, took big hits. Those that made low risk investments made out very well. Much of these pension fund problems are fallout from the financial collapse. It is the fault of the bad management by the pension fund trustees in almost every case, but the retirees are made to suffer.

    November 30, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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