Originally posted May 13, 2011.
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has vetoed the New Hampshire Right-to-Work Bill (H.B. 474). In his veto message, he said: “States should not interfere with the rights of businesses and their employees to freely negotiate contracts. That is unless there is a compelling public interest, and there is no compelling public interest in passing this legislation.”
The compelling public interest, Governor Lynch, is that 48% of New Hampshire’s state and local government employees are unionized. That doesn’t compare favorably to pro-business and right-to-work states like South Carolina, which is only at 9%. Unions can still exist with the passing of a right-to-work law. It simply allows private and public workers a choice whether to join a union and pay dues. I believe giving people a choice fits quite nicely with the state motto of “live free or die.” And if unions are so good, then let the workers decide. Indiana did just that in 2006 resulting in a ninety percent drop in public sector union members paying dues.
In his veto message, Governor Lynch said: “There is no evidence that this legislation will offer any benefits to New Hampshire’s economy or workers.”
National Right to Work Committee president Mark Mix writes: “Over the last decade, the average Right to Work state outpaces New Hampshire in real personal income growth and private-sector job creation. According to PHH Fantus, America’s longtime leading relocation firm, half of all companies considering a relocation or expansion automatically rule out states like New Hampshire that don’t have Right to Work laws.”
It’s no wonder companies like Boeing and BMW choose South Carolina and aren’t knocking on Governor Lynch’s door to expand in New Hampshire.
Forty-seven House Republicans are with Governor Lynch and voted against H.B. 474. Republican representative Richard Dwinell, a former electrician, says: “All these people that have come up from the South who are pushing for the right-to-work act, they make less money that we do.” To the contrary, the population shift is moving to the south, not to New England because that’s where the jobs are.
As Mr. Mix adds: “Forced unionism also hurts young workers the most, with millions of young adults and their children ‘voting with their feet’ by moving to Right to Work states. In fact, New Hampshire’s population of 25–34 year-olds shrunk by over 15 percent from 1999 to 2009, while the young adult populations in Right to Work states collectively increased 20 percent.”
In the name of employee freedom, I urge the New Hampshire House to get its act together and join the New Hampshire Senate with a super majority to override Governor Lynch’s misguided veto.