Will New Hampshire Become the Next Right-to-Work State?

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Posted by Sheridan Nolen on Thursday, February 25th, 2021, 2:48 PM PERMALINK

New Hampshire may soon join the list of 27 right-to-work states, giving private sector workers the freedom to choose whether or not they join and pay dues to a union. This would be a huge win for employees across the Granite State and a boon to the economy. 

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, public sector workers in New Hampshire and across the country are no longer forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. That landmark victory for workplace freedom, however, did not apply to private sector unions. Private sector employees in states that do not have right-to-work laws in place still do not have this basic right to choose.  

But now that New Hampshire is back under Republican control, there is a strong chance that things will soon change. Sen. John Reagan’s Senate Bill 61, which was recently approved by the Senate in a 13-11 vote, would prohibit collective bargaining agreements from including mandatory union dues, making New Hampshire the 28th right-to-work state. This commonsense law, if enacted, would give New Hampshire private sector workers the freedom to exercise their First Amendment right to decide to associate or not associate with an organization and give them the option to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. 

In addition, SB 61 is also smart economic policy. Scholarly research over the years has found that right-to-work states are more prosperous than forced-unionism states. The National Institute for Labor Relations Research, for example, found that the percentage growth in the number of people employed from 2009-2019 was 16.9% for right-to-work states and just 9.6% in forced unionism states.  

These findings are not surprising. Right-to-work laws make states significantly more attractive to businesses looking to expand. John Boyd, founder of the Boyd Company, a business consulting firm that advises where to make job-creating investments, explained that right-to-work is a “common denominator among states attracting both aerospace and other types of advanced manufacturing.” 

“I believe right-to-work, along with lower business taxes and workers compensation costs, will make New Hampshire more competitive and attractive to grow and locate a business,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, who is a cosponsor of the bill. 

Joining Sen. Reagan and Leader Bradley as co-sponsors of SB 61 are Senate President Chuck Morse, Sen. Gary Daniels, Sen. Bill Gannon, Sen. James Gray, Sen. Harold French, Rep. Richard Marston, Rep. Carol McGuire, Rep. Alicia Lekas, and Rep. James Spillane. SB 61 has been placed at the top of House Speaker Sherman Packard’s legislative agenda and Gov. Chris Sununu, a longtime supporter of right-to-work laws, is expected to sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.  

Finally making New Hampshire a right-to-work state would be a win for all residents of the Granite State. It would give private sector employees the freedom to choose how they wish to assemble and allow them to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, while also attracting new jobs and opportunities. 

Photo Credit: James Walsh

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