Wednesday, February 13, 2013

No Rights At Work defeated in NH, 212-141

Workers in the NH House gallery applaud the defeat of No Rights At Work.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives today soundly defeated a No Rights At Work bill, 212-141, as workers cheered in the gallery.

The victory ended a three-year battle by workers, small businesses, community members and legislators on both sides of the aisle. Teamster Local 633 in Manchester was especially effective working with Republican lawmakers to defeat the bill.

The bill was part of a nationwide push by extremist billionaires to lower wages and weaken workers' rights. The New Hampshire bill was cut-and-pasted from language provided by the corporate-and-Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Strikingly similar proposals have been introduced in Maine, Missouri, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. (General President Hoffa commented on that in today's Detroit News "Labor Voices" column.)

The Amherst Patch reported,
The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 212 to 141 to kill the proposed Franklin Partin Right to Work Act on Wednesday, as Democrats and Republicans waged a familiar debate about unions and job creation. 
Unlike last session, however, Democrats now enjoy majority control of the chamber. This bill's fate was sealed before today, the partisan divide leading observers to say the debate was more about the 2014 elections. 
The political stakes were clear: Rep. Bill O'Brien, the former Tea Party Republican Speaker of the House, was the prime sponsor of the bill. Other sponsors included John Cebrowski, R-Bedford, and Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry. 
A large union presence, including members of the NHAFL-CIO and Professional Firefighters of NH, listened intently from the House gallery... 
Granite State Progress reminded readers that the legislation's sponsor, former House Speaker Bill O'Brien, had lied about the businesses that would come to New Hampshire if the bill passed.

O'Brien shepherded a No Rights At Work bill through the House last year, but Gov. John Lynch vetoed it. The House failed to override the governor's veto.