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Right-to-work bill finding little support in NH House

February 05. 2013 8:48PM

CONCORD - The House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee dealt a blow to the latest attempt to pass right-to-work legislation in New Hampshire.

The committee voted 13-5 to recommend House Bill 322 be killed when the full House takes up the measure.

Former House speaker William O'Brien, R-Mont Vernon, the prime sponsor of the House Bill 322, pushed right-to-work legislation the last two sessions, only to have former governor John Lynch veto the bill and the House fail to override it in 2011. The Senate was not willing to engage in the debate last year, saying the outcome would be the same.

HB 322 was debated last week at the public hearing, with supporters saying right-to-work will help spur the state's economy and set the state apart in the Northeast.

But opponents said HB 322 is an attack on organized labor that will drive down wages and destroy middle-class families.

Like the bill, now dubbed the Franklin Partin right-to-work act, the arguments in support and opposition changed little from the last two years.

The bill would prohibit employers and labor organizations from including fees for non-union members in collective bargaining agreements. Unions collect the fees to pay the cost of negotiating and maintaining the collective bargaining agreement from non-union members.

The earliest the House could take up the bill would be next week.

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