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New Hampshire House of Representatives Votes Down Right-to-Work Bill

IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, PFFNH President Dave Lang with Representative Jeff Goley, a member of Manchester Local 856

February 13, 2013 – In a major victory for workers, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a bill that would have crippled collective bargaining and silenced the voices of workers across the state.

HB 323, which would have prohibited employers and labor organizations from including fees for non-union members in collective bargaining agreements, was defeated by a vote of 212-141.

“In November, the citizens of New Hampshire voted in a legislature more focused on issues like jobs and the economy, rather than out-of-state interests,” said Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire President David Lang. “It is clear from today’s vote that ‘Right-to-Work’ is still not wanted or needed in New Hampshire. This has always been an unnecessary distraction, and I’m pleased that today the bill was killed so we can move on to the issues that matter to New Hampshire.”

The defeat of HB 323 in the New Hampshire General Court today marks a key turning point in the battle over the rights of public employees in the Granite State. In 2010, the rise of the Tea Party movement helped Republicans take control of both the House and the Senate. But in November 2012, amid rising public discontent with anti-labor politics, Democrats regained control of the House and brought the Senate closer to balance.

“I want to congratulate New Hampshire lawmakers today for listening to the people and defending the rights of all workers in the state,” said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, who was on hand for the vote. “These so called ‘right-to-work’ bills are cropping up in legislatures all over the country, but the name hides the truth because they are designed to take away the rights of workers, not protect them.”

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