There are a lot of disingenuous arguments against right-to-work, and the two most bogus of all are made repeatedly, with much-practiced sincerity, by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Maggie Hassan.
The first false argument goes like this, as Hassan put it in Wednesday’s debate with Ovide Lamontagne: “I don’t think the government should interfere with contracts between employees and businesses. So I oppose right to work.”
If that is true, then Hassan must also oppose minimum wage laws, child labor laws, workplace safety laws, health insurance mandates, and every other law that would “interfere with contracts between employees and businesses.”
Of course, Hassan supports all of the above-mentioned laws, all of which dictate the terms of employer-employee contracts (one of her campaign promises is to raise the state minimum wage). And — obviously — the current law, which allows closed union shops, by definition interferes with employer-employee contracts. Hassan plainly does not believe what she said she believes.
The second fraudulent argument is a derivative of the first. It is that right-to-work denies choices to employees by somehow infringing on, as Hassan put it, their right to “negotiate with their employers.” Again, that is precisely the opposite of the truth.
The right-to-work bill passed by the Legislature and vetoed by Gov. John Lynch “prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union.” It therefore expands employee choices. Under current law, some jobs are union jobs, period. If an employee wants that job, he must join the union. Under right-to-work, the employee would get to choose the job, then choose whether to join the union. That is an expansion of choices, not a limitation.
To claim that a law that provides more choices actually limits them is a perfect example of Orwellian doublespeak. If Hassan wants to oppose greater worker choices, that’s fine. But she should be honest about what she really supports (restricted personal freedom) and why.