It’s time for right-for-work for all

Following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on worker freedom, Janus v. AFSCME, New Hampshire now has the opportunity to become the first state in the Northeast to pass right-to-work legislation and expand freedom for thousands of workers.

The court found that because collective bargaining with the government affects public policy issues like pension liabilities, taxes, spending and more, it equates to lobbying and thus political speech. Public employees are now protected from having their hard-earned money automatically deducted from their paycheck and directed toward political speech they may disagree with.

It is crucial that our legislators expand this First Amendment protection to private-sector workers in the Granite State as well. In addition to expanding freedom for thousands of workers, right-to-work brings numerous economic benefits. There is no doubt that making New Hampshire a right-to-work state will invite more businesses and entrepreneurs to our state. The numbers speak for themselves.

Following right-to-work passing in 2017, Kentucky experienced $9.2 billion in corporate expansion and new location projects, with commitments to create more than 17,000 new jobs. Additionally, Kentucky’s exported goods and services totaled $31 billion, an increase of 5.8 percent from the previous year. In Michigan, payrolls increased by 4.5 percent from March 2013 to August 2015 after the state passed right-to-work in 2013.

Other states with right-to-work are feeling the benefits as well. In fact, a 2013 study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy showed states with right-to-work experienced higher economic growth and increased annual employment growth rates.

Right-to-work can bring more workers to our state and help create good paying jobs. When major companies look to build a new facility or relocate, one of the items at the top of their checklist is right-to-work. Moreover, thousands of New Hampshire workers leave the state every day for work. Right-to-work would provide a strong incentive to move jobs into New Hampshire from the surrounding non-right-to-work states and build on the economic success our state is experiencing.

Right-to-work also reaffirms our state motto, “Live Free or Die,” and New Hampshire’s commitment to economic freedom. Besides the government, unions are the only other entity that can deduct dues directly from a worker’s wages without consent. This is wrong and goes completely against our state’s creed and values. We need to put power back in the hands of workers and ensure their freedoms are not being infringed upon.

If we want more freedom, more jobs and better wages for all Granite Staters, right-to-work legislation should be a no-brainer for New Hampshire.

Ross Connolly is grassroots director of Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire. Laura Spottiswood of Pelham is a current union member and activist for AFP-NH.

Categories: Opinion