The recent defeat of Right-to-Work legislation in New Hampshire was a big victory for workers and labor unions. But the IAFF and its affiliates must stay on guard against those who want to wipe labor unions off the map.
Already, Right-to-Work legislation has cropped up this year in several states, including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and in Missouri.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a Right- to- Work bill 212 to 141 this week.
General President Harold Schaitberger was in attendance.
He said,” I want to congratulate New Hampshire lawmakers today for listening to the people and defending the rights of all the state’s employees. These so called ‘Right-to-Work’ bills are cropping up in legislatures all over the country, but the name hides the truth because they are designed to take away the rights of workers, not protect them.”
In the Show Me state – where a Right-to-Work law was defeated in 1978, hundreds of protesters gathered at the Missouri state Capitol to express dismay over House Bill 77, an effort to weaken unions and collective bargaining.
In Pennsylvania, Right-to-Work legislation is inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadowy organization that thrives on operating away from the spotlight of American government - pushing anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country. ALEC thrives on connecting conservative lawmakers with big corporations to push an extreme anti-worker agenda.
ALEC was scrutinized last year thanks in part to its role in crafting Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground Law.”
As a result, some high-powered corporations severed ties with ALEC, but make no mistake about it the organization -- is still up to its old tricks.
ALEC and other organizations like Freedom Works have prioritized an anti-union agenda in 2013 and have tried to push paycheck protection legislation in Pennsylvania. In addition, ALEC and other forces were behind efforts to turn Michigan into a Right-to-Work state.
The AFL-CIO, in conjunction with other labor unions, have filed a lawsuit this week, maintaining that the Michigan law is unconstitutional. (The lawsuit does not include public sector workers.)