Despite opposition from unions and other special interest groups, the New Hampshire state Senate on Thursday passed a so-called “Right To Work” bill, which would free private-sector workers from being forced to pay union-mandated fees in order to work.
Opponents denounced the effort as ‘union-busting’ legislation that forces the union to work on behalf of non-members who refuse to pay for the collective bargaining benefits.
Supporters argue the measure increases worker freedom and note the bill simply extends rights to private-sector workers the Supreme Court gave to public-sector employees in its landmark 2018 Janus v. AFSCME decision.
Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) joined all ten Democrats in opposing the bill in the Senate.
“SB61 is pro-jobs and pro-workers. It will create faster wage growth for Granite Staters just as RTW laws have meant higher economic growth in the twenty-seven other states that have adopted similar legislation. Becoming a Right-to-Work state will also make New Hampshire a more attractive destination for businesses looking to relocate. I believe Right-to-Work, along with lower business taxes and workers compensation costs, will make NH more competitive and attractive to grow and locate a business,” Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said in a statement following the vote.
Right-to-work now heads to the House, where its outcome is far from certain. Thirty-nine times the measure has been proposed, and thirty-nine times it has failed in New Hampshire. This is the first attempt post-Janus.
If history is any guide, some Republicans will join Democrats in opposition to the measure. With a 13 vote majority in the House, Right to Work proponents can’t afford to lose many.
Pressure from outside groups in favor and opposition will certainly ramp up as the bill moves through the House.