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Right-to-work legislation pushed at Manchester event

Senior Political Reporter

July 24. 2014 9:19PM
State Director Greg Moore speaks at a Americans for Prosperity event at the Derryfield in Manchester on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Advocates for right-to-work legislation released a study Thursday that maintains it would boost New Hampshire’s economy.

The study predicts the state would add 4,000 to 6,000 jobs over two years after passage, and would “approach levels of full employment.”

The conservative Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire said it hopes its report helps advance such legislation in 2015.

With union members protesting the right-to-work event at the Derryfield Country Club in Manchester, both sides called it a major issue this election year.

Matt Patterson, the head of the Center for Labor Studies at Americans for Tax Reform, said labor leaders routinely mock right to work as “right to work for less.”

The opposite is true, he said. He said it increases productivity, job growth and personal income.

“Right to work makes good economic sense,” he said.

The study, “Analzying the Effects of Right to Work in New Hampshire,” points to Indiana as a case study. Indiana passed right to work in 2012.

Tom Thomson, the honorary chairman of AFP-NH and a son of the late Gov. Meldrim Thomson, said a right-to-work law would boost New Hampshire’s economy. “We will be the envy of all of those states in the Northeast,” he said.

AFP-NH says right-to-work legislation would ensure no employee could be required to join a union or pay fees as a condition of employment.

Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, said nobody in New Hampshire is being forced to join any union.

He stood outside the event with fellow union members holding signs that read, “Right to Work is Wrong for New Hampshire,” and “Stop the Attack on the Middle Class.”

“There is nothing new here,” he said. “It’s the same issue. It’s not good for New Hampshire. This is an assault on a very small number of people.”

MacKenzie said a proposed right-to-work bill was the cherry on top of a right-wing agenda because Republicans advocating for it can use it to raise campaign funds.

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