Op-Ed: New Hampshire should be a Right-to-Work state

By Rep. Patrick Abrami

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, there most likely will be the override vote of Gov. John Lynch’s veto of the Right-to-Work bill. My vote for the override will be driven by my belief that every person should be allowed to establish a relationship with their employer.

This in no way should impede an individual’s right to join and support a union. The reality is that in the 21st century, most employers are enlightened and realize they are competing for talent in the marketplace. Therefore, most employers treat their employees well, just as I and my fellow partners do with our 30 employees at my company.

This is one of the reasons why only 10 percent of workers are unionized today. Unions are a good check against the handful of not-so-enlightened employers. Thus, unions are a check on employers. To me, Right to Work is a check on unions.

If a union is enlightened, it will do great service for its members without jeopardizing the solvency of the companies from which their members draw a salary. If they don’t, then the members should have the right not to abide by a union’s dictates and be given the ability to form a relationship directly with their employers.

If that argument is not sufficient, consider the following and draw your own conclusions:

Congressional seats gained

Texas: 4

Florida: 2

Arizona: 1

Georgia: 1

Nevada: 1

South Carolina: 1

Utah: 1

Right-to-Work states total: 11

Washington: 1

Non-Right-to-Work states total: 1

Grand total: 12

Congressional Seats Lost

Iowa: 1

Louisiana: 1

Right-to-Work states total: 2

New York: 2

Ohio: 2

Illinois: 1

Massachusetts: 1

Michigan: 1

Missouri: 1

New Jersey: 1

Pennsylvania: 1

Non-Right-to-Work states total: 10

Grand total: 12

To me, population shifts have always followed work opportunities.

The congressional seat shifts reflect the population shifts that have occurred in the past 10 years. Again, you can draw your own conclusions, but to me this is QED (quad erat demonstrandum — “which was to be demonstrated” from the above).

The beauty of America is that its citizens may relocate for economic opportunity. It appears from the empirical evidence that the people have spoken and that opportunities are in Right-to-Work states, where companies can form more natural relationships with their employees.

In my opinion, no Legislature should vote against a worker’s right to work, just as no Legislature should vote against the right of workers to unionize. The right to work is a fundamental right. Of the 22 Right-to-Work states, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have this right enshrined in their state constitutions.

I will never vote against the right of any hard-working citizen from working for the employer of their choice or from preventing them from establishing a direct relationship with that employer.

Patrick Abrami of Stratham is a District 13 state representative for Stratham, Exeter and North Hampton.