CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1677. The bill, known as Right to Work, would give employees the choice as to whether to join a labor union. The bill passed 198 to 139.
House Speaker William O’Brien
“Last year, we had a thorough discussion about making New Hampshire a Right to Work state. Unfortunately the Governor chose to go against the will of the 63 percent majority of House members who passed this bill and the nearly 80 percent of Granite Staters who oppose forced unionism. The opponents said that passing Right to Work would not result in companies moving to New Hampshire. The experience of Indiana, which just became the nation’s 23rd Right to Work state, proved that opponents place their union prerogatives in opposition to jobs for neighbors.
“Recently, Indiana passed Right to Work. The ink on the new law had not even dried when we learned that Caterpillar, one of the nation’s largest manufacturing firms, would immediate relocate a plant from Canada to Indiana, specifically because it was a Right to Work state. This means over 450 new, high-paying jobs for Indiana’s workers, as well as hundreds of additional spin off jobs from the presence of the plant.
“There is no reason why New Hampshire shouldn’t have the opportunity to attract companies such as Caterpillar, Boeing and Audi, businesses that locate to Right to Work states. Watching opportunities for good, new jobs and economic growth pass us by is against our state’s traditions and weakens the New Hampshire Advantage. We need to get the Granite State back in the game of being competitive and helping our citizens.”
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt
“Jobless numbers in New Hampshire fail to include the nearly 15 percent of our young people over the last ten years who have left the state in droves after graduation due to the lack of an entry-level work force. As long as we continue the practice of forced unionism in New Hampshire, we’re going to lose out on many of the job opportunities that could keep them here. Passing Right to Work will give a major boost to our state’s future income and private-sector job growth.
“In talking with both national and local economists, they have indicated that having Right to Work is as important as not having a sales or income tax, in terms of making a state an attractive place to relocate. Since we already are the one state in the region that doesn’t have those taxes as well as our newfound commitment to reduce New Hampshire’s business tax environment, we are well positioned to take full advantage of the growth of being the only Right to Work state in the Northeast.
“Complaining that wages are lower in states that were intensely poor fails to point out that wages were much, much lower prior to Right to Work. It’s similar to having a race car driver who starts a race driving a Yugo, gets way behind, and then switches to a Ferrari and suggesting that shows that a Ferrari is a slow car because the driver hasn’t caught up yet.
“The good news is that New Hampshire is not a poor state, so we don’t start from way behind. The faster job and wage growth that Right to Work brings will only be a benefit to New Hampshire and make us more competitive, expanding the New Hampshire Advantage.”