The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, June 03, 2011

NEWS BRIEFS

By The Building Tradesman



Are you listening Gov. Snyder?

(PAI) The Republican majority in the New Hampshire legislature recently approved a so-called “right to work” bill, pushed by the Radical Right anti-worker forces that are scheming to destroy unions, workers and the middle class nationwide.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, vetoed it. Badly outnumbered in the legislature with enough Republicans to override the veto, Democrats must find enough votes there among their GOP colleagues to prevent the Granite State from becoming the 23rd right to work state. The state’s unions are lobbying their own lawmakers furiously to uphold Lynch’s veto.

Union-busting right-to-work bills have also been introduced this year in Michigan.

Following is a portion of Lynch’s statement when he made the veto:

“States should not interfere with the rights of businesses and their employees to freely negotiate contracts. That is unless there is a compelling public interest, and there is no compelling public interest in passing this legislation.

“There is no evidence that this legislation will offer any benefits to New Hampshire’s economy or workers. As I have said repeatedly, New Hampshire has an economic strategy that is working. New Hampshire has one of the strongest and fastest-growing economies in the nation. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates and one of the highest median incomes in the nation. We are considered one of the safest states and one of the healthiest states, and a high percentage of our citizens have private health insurance.

“In the last seven years of recruiting businesses to move to New Hampshire, not one business leader has ever even asked me if New Hampshire had a right-to-work law, let alone suggested it was a factor in the company’s location decision. No New Hampshire business leaders have ever told me that the lack of a so-called right-to-work law prevented them from expanding or hiring new workers here in New Hampshire.

“And no New Hampshire workers have ever told me they couldn’t get a job because New Hampshire doesn’t have a so-called right-to-work law.

“The debate over the so-called right-to-work bill in New Hampshire appears to be largely driven by national outside interest groups, and is not a result of problems facing New Hampshire businesses or workers. There is no justification in this case for state government to interfere with the right of private businesses to freely negotiate and enter into contracts with their employees. Therefore, I am vetoing HB 474.”

Wisconsin law struck down for now

A Wisconsin judge on May 26 struck down a law taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, in a case that has captivated the nation.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled that Republican legislators violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law during the run up to passage. She says that renders the law void.

Senate Republicans rushed to pass the anti-union bill on March 9, while Democratic colleagues were in a self-imposed exile out of state. Lacking a quorum, Republican lawmakers split their bill into two, using a procedural move to allow the anti-collective bargaining measure to pass with no Democrats in the room.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on June 6 to determine if it will take the case.

A March 9 committee meeting on the measure, concluded Sumi, was “held on less than two hours notice in a location that was not open and accessible to citizens.”