Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday Gov. John Lynch vetoed, as promised, a bill that would have prohibited unions from collecting agency fees from non-members. These fees are used to support the bargaining activities of unions and must be paid regardless of union membership.

In rejecting HB 474, the Right to Work Bill, the governor argued there was no compelling public interest in passing the legislation. Specifically, the governor wrote in a press release: “States should not interfere with the rights of businesses and their employees to freely negotiate contracts.”

While the governor is correct in the sense that HB 474 prevents employers and unions from adding the must-pay provision to contracts, he is wrong in contending there is no compelling public interest.

The compelling interest is simple. It lies in the ability of individual workers to decide on their own to support or not support union activities. It’s nanny state versus individual rights.

Fortunately, the N.H. Senate passed the bill by a veto-proof majority. Over in the House, approval was not as strong. But enough members were absent the day the vote was taken to give hope of an override.

If for no other reason than to protect the rights of all workers, New Hampshire should become the 23rd state to adopt Right to Work legislation.