right to work

Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association / Flickr/cc

Right to Work bills, which are about the power of unions to collect dues, have been debated in New Hampshire many times before. Now, as right to work continues to gain ground around the country, we’ll review the history and the arguments around it, and how New Hampshire fits into the national picture.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Tuesday afternoon, the state Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would make New Hampshire a so-called “Right-to-Work” state.

The bill prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a union.

It’s a perennial issue in the state and it went as far as passing the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011. But it didn’t have enough votes to override then-Governor John Lynch’s veto.

Governor Maggie Hassan is against Right-to-Work.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 The New Hampshire Senate has voted down so-called “right-to-work” legislation.

The vote Thursday morning was 13 to 11, with every Senate Democrat and two Republicans voting against the bill to excuse non-union employees from paying fees to negotiate and administer contracts. 

The Republican-majority legislature in 2011 passed a bill, but they were unable to override a veto by then-Governor John Lynch. 

Opponents including Manchester Democrat Lou D’Allesandro argue "right-to-work" is bad for middle class families.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have made right to work the law of the land in New Hampshire.

Union workers broke into raucous applause after Speaker of the House Terrie Norelli announced the tally of votes on the right to work bill brought before the full House on Wednesday.

“The House will be in order," said Norelli, as she slammed her gavel.

The bill was defeated, 212 to 141. The vote fell mostly along party lines.

As NHPR reported the House on Wednesday passed a so-called right-to-work bill. Barring unions from requiring non-members to pay for representation has been a priority for House Republican leaders.

The bill passed 198 to 139.

It now goes to the Senate.

Four North Country reps voted in favor and eight against.

Here are the North Country reps who voted in favor:

* Duffy Daugherty (Republican) of Colebrook.

* Edmond Gionet (Republican) of Lincoln.


 The New Hampshire House of Representatives has for the second time passed a so-called right to work bill. But  the margin was well short of what would be needed to override Governor Lynch’s promised veto.

Barring unions from requiring non-members to pay for representation has been a priority for House Republican leaders. Last year governor John Lynch vetoed a Right-to-Work bill, which republicans failed to override.

Republican Marshall Quandt told colleagues this year’s version will fare no better.

The state legislature is once again looking at whether the Granite State should join twenty-three others in adopting so-called “right to work legislation” which governs unionization.   But this effort narrowly failed last  year, and this year, opposition remains strong.  We’ll talk with two national experts about  the economics and politics of “right to work”.   


The State House has voted 240-139 to sustain Governor John Lynch's veto on so-called "right to work" bill.

Stay with NHPR and NHPR.org for details throughout the day.