Unions survive anti-labor push in New Hampshire
Legislators in New Hampshire voted to sustain Gov. John Lynch's veto of a right-to-work bill in New Hampshire that would have prevented unions from collecting dues from non-members. It was a victory for unions in a Republican-dominated state that plays host to the first primary of the presidential election season.
Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney had spoken in support of the measure, which was passed in the New Hampshire legislature and then vetoed by the governor. The House sustained the veto by a margin of 240-139 this morning.
"Their vote is a clear signal to all of our elected leaders, in New Hampshire and elsewhere, that attacking the rights of everyday Americans isn’t the key to economic prosperity," said Mark MacKenzie, the president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, in a statement.
The New Hampshire vote was the second victory in as many months for the AFL-CIO, which also rallied to get Ohioans to vote down Senate Bill 5, which would have dramatically curtailed collective bargaining for public sector employees in the state. In November, voters approved the ballot initiative striking down the bill by a margin of 61% to 39%.
Still, conservatives worry these small union victories could have a detrimental effect on the economy. According to the National Right to Legal Work Defense Foundation, right-to-work states -- those that prohibit agreements between employers and labor unions that make due-paying or union membership a condition of employment -- fare better economically.
Jobs in the private sector grew 0.3% in right-to-work states from 2000 to 2010, compared to shrinking 5.5% in non-right-to-work states, the foundation says. Right-to-work states are primarily concentrated in the Southeast and the Great Plains.
-- Alana Semuels
Photo: Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is from a right-to-work state, addresses the New Hampshire legislature. Credit: Jim Cole / Associated Press