Updated: Oct 22
by J. Michael Atherton
Every year, the NH Republican platform promotes “right to work (for less)” laws. While their legislation recently failed, it remains an aspirational plank in their platform https://nh.gop/platform/ . When Democrats are in the majority in either the House or Senate, such annual attacks on workers fail.
Owners love divided workers because they think helping workers lowers profits. They ignore research showing well-paid and respected workers increase profits. Nevertheless, Republicans push anti-worker propaganda labeled “freedom,” and “self-determination.” They debase these noble terms.
Lobbyists promote right to work (for less) laws. They falsely say it's unamerican to be forced to pay union dues, but correctly say unions must share advances with all workers whether or not
they are union. Unions spend time and money negotiating while scabs get everything for free.
Owners love Union v Scabs. A fractured workforce makes owners happy because they killed the giant in the cradle. United, workers stand strong, divided, they fall.
Lobbyists tell unions to be more convincing about union life. But this is all noise because when workers must buy kids’ braces or glasses, they balk at paying dues. Besides, even without dues they get what unions get. Or do they?
Workers in right to work (for less) states earn $8,898 less annually compared to workers in other states. Over 10 years that’s $88,980. Union dues never equal this amount. Lobbyists want unions to look expensive, not essential. https://www.usw.org/act/campaigns/rtw/resources/facts-about-so-called-right-to-work
Does “essential” seem strong? Here are other needs unions protect: overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, final pay requirements, vacations, sick time, maternity, family and all other required leaves. Essential enough? The NH Republican platform fails even to mention these essential benefits. Perhaps Republicans view them as “extras” dependent on the generosity of owners.
Governor Sununu clearly endorsed right to work (for less) laws. Just as in a Republican controlled legislature, disaster waits for workers in the Governor’s corner office. Republican right to work (for less) laws act like gravity. They both pull us down and they never relent. https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-and-media/governor-chris-sununu-statement-state-senate-vote-pass-right-work-legislation
Right to work (for less) laws harm workers, owners, and businesses because factories in these states produce less, have high worker turn-over, high absenteeism, and more damages. These states also experience high poverty, high infant mortality, diminished access to health care, and poor educational opportunities. Republican right to work (for less) laws harm our economy.
Choose. Do we want NH crippled by Republican right to work (for less) laws? Or do we want a Granite State with a strong workforce generating wealth, health, and solid schools following Democrats’ pro-worker plans?
About the author
John Michael Atherton (Mike) has retired from 30 years of teaching philosophy (after 20 years of teaching a variety of subjects from elementary to graduate school). Four years in the Peace Corps in Swaziland (now Eswatini), followed by marriage, first child, and PhD all at the University of Chicago. Moved to Southwest Pennsylvania where wife Cynthia Walter taught ecology and he taught philosophy while they raised two daughters. Moved to Dover in 2019 to be near their two grandsons in Maine. He has consistently found the Dems to be a group that publicly and privately follows their stated values: compassion, honesty, integrity, respect the dignity of all people, expanded freedom, responsible citizenship, promoting civil society, and protecting our environment. Just add that they are great fun to be around and you have a winning combination.