Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Hampshire House of Representatives Reject Right to Work

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

On Thursday, June 3, the New Hampshire House voted to indefinitely postpone S.B. 61, a bill that aimed to make the Granite State the first “right to work” state in the Northeast. The final vote was 199–175. All Democrats voted against the bill, and they were joined by 20 members of the Republican majority who did not support the position of their leadership.

For more than six months, labor leaders and union members across the state have been speaking out, rallying and contacting their representatives about the dangers of this bill, which would have deprived workers of our freedom to join together and form strong unions if we choose to.

Dozens of New Hampshire union leaders and members gathered outside of the New Hampshire Sportsplex in Bedford, where the House was hosting its final session, to protest right to work. New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett (IBEW), New Hampshire AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Dave Pelletier (UA) and New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council President Mike Smith (Ironworkers) were all present at the rally.

“The New Hampshire AFL-CIO applauds the New Hampshire House of Representatives for voting to indefinitely postpone S.B. 61, harmful legislation that would have made the Granite State the first ‘right to work’ state in the Northeast,” said President Brackett.

“For more than 40 years, New Hampshire’s labor movement has been sounding the alarm on ‘right to work’ laws. These bills are nothing more than out of state, corporate interests looking to take advantage of our lawmakers, our businesses and our workers. They deprive workers of their freedom to join together and form strong unions if they choose to. And they have no business being a part of how we do things here in New Hampshire.

“Our labor unions have fought for more than a century to ensure that collective bargaining agreements in the Granite State consist of some of the best union wages, benefits and jobsite protections in the country. We are extraordinarily grateful for our lawmakers who made the decision to side with us and our workers to defeat this harmful bill.”