Monday, May 16, 2011

'I was wrong on right to work'

A former New Hampshire state senator had a change of heart after sponsoring a right-to-work bill to destroy unions 25 years ago.

Mark Hounsell wrote a terrific mea culpa to the Concord Monitor last week. We just had to share it with you.

Some of the highlights:
The truth is the bill has nothing to do with a person's right to work and it has everything to do with eliminating the right for workers to collectively bargain. The truth is the reason for its enactment is to eliminate unions.
And this:
I maintain the bill is about union busting from personal experience. In 1985 as a member of the Senate I sponsored right-to-work legislation. My sponsorship provided me access to the intents and strategies of the Virginia-based National Right to Work Committee. The NRW committee believes that if it can pass certain provisions state by state it will effectively cause the demise of unions nationwide
And this:
Labor unions have served New Hampshire's middle class well. It has been union initiatives that produced a 40-hour work week, overtime pay, vacations and holidays, sick days, safe workplaces, health benefits, retirement and pensions and many other worker benefits. To weaken unions is to weaken New Hampshire's economy and weaken our middle class.
And, finally, this:
House Speaker Bill O'Brien and his strong arm-twisting is now working overtime to override the governor's veto. The speaker is known to remove committee assignments as punishment to those representatives who do not toe the speaker's line.
Thankfully there are still a group of noble Republicans who remain unmoved by his threats and his bullying. These brave souls may be enough to stop this assault on New Hampshire's middle class. Let us all hope so.