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Oct 23

Labor

IMG_0238As we celebrated long weekend for Labor Day, I stand as a proud life time member of the NEA-NH and thank all those who have struggled throughout the years for safe working conditions and decent wages.
Hard working people have been the soldiers in the Labor movement that started over 150 years ago including Linda Horan, a labor activist extraordinaire, who we lost too soon.

My great- grandfather immigrated from Wales to work in the coal mines of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The story of my Welsh ancestors is a story of the harsh working conditions in the mines, the total control by the mining company of housing, general stores, and railroad transportation that kept its workers in place. It was from these circumstances of deadly working conditions, poor pay, child labor, 15 hour shifts, and poor living conditions that hard-fought and often violent strikes were sparked and the movement to form unions began. Unions gave workers a voice and a power to balance the struggle for decent wages and working conditions through their sweat, sacrifice, and blood.
Many will say that we do not need unions in this day and age. After all, we have a 40 hour workweek, child labor laws, workers’ compensation, OSHA to protect working conditions, minimum wage, and Labor Relations Boards. But, these are the laws and oversight agencies that are now under attack with ALEC model legislation in own New Hampshire State House and Senate.
Over the past two terms in Concord, the attack on working people continues. Led by ALEC legislators who sponsor bills to eliminate the minimum wage, attack collective bargaining, eliminate the fair negotiation fees for non union workers, require mandatory paycheck cards that include fees that rob workers of their hard earned pay, and set unfair and unnecessary requirements for employment. They consistently voted against increasing workers’ compensation payments so people hurt on the job can keep their home and health insurance, to continue the practice of astronomical interest on title loans, to deny binding arbitration for ending contract disputes, and to require credit checks and surrendering social media password as terms of employment.
In this next session of the legislature many important Labor bills will be considered. My opponent, as well as many other Republican candidates for the New Hampshire House, have already signed the, “Americans for Prosperity Pledge” which states that they will: “3. Pass a Right to Work Law in New Hampshire.”1 Everyone has the right to work. This is a classic example of political spin. Those that sign this pledge are trying to eliminate unions by interfering with collective bargaining process and denying the ability to seek fair compensation for contractual negotiations and representation of non union workers in contract grievances.
You and I cannot stay silent and let this happen. We can’t go back to a time when our neighbors and friends lost their homes because of fraud and lost their jobs because of unfair practices. We can’t go back to a time when workers had to declare bankruptcy as a result of medical payments for cancer treatments, were denied medical coverage for pre-existing conditions, and couldn’t insure their young adult children. We still need our unions and legislators who support Labor to keep our workplaces safe, provide benefits, and fair wages. I’m asking for your vote so I can support Labor and the hard working men and women of New Hampshire. Let your voice be heard, vote in the general election, November 8th. “Bread for all and Roses too!”
1(http://americansforprosperity.org/new-hampshire/taxpayerpledge/) bolded for emphasis

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