NH Gov. Lynch Stands with the Middle Class

by Clyde Weiss  |  May 11, 2011

Refusing to bow to the pressures of Wall Street, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) has taken the side of Main Street and vetoed legislation that would undermine the strength of workers to stand up for their rights.

Lynch’s veto of a misleadingly labeled “right-to-work” bill on Wednesday shows he understands what’s really behind this effort to weaken collective bargaining agreements. It should really be called “right to work for less,” since it bars agreements that call for non-members to pay their fair share for representation, which all workers benefit from, whether or not they belong to a union.

Ultimately, that means workers have less power to make improvements in their wages, benefits and working conditions.

In his veto statement, Lynch 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.”

Lynch went further, pointing out:

“…in my time as a CEO, in my years spent in the private sector turning around companies, and in my seven years as governor, I have never seen the so-called right-to-work law serve as a valuable economic development tool.”

What’s clear is that this isn’t about the right to work. It’s about power – corporate power to weaken the strength of workers by pulling the rug from under their unions. The debate, says Lynch, “appears to be largely driven by national outside interest groups, and is not a result of problems facing New Hampshire businesses or workers.”

An override vote is scheduled for May 25. We will make sure that Lynch gets all the support he needs to maintain his veto of HB 474.

Read more in this ThinkProgress report.

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