Earlier this year, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) vetoed a bill that would have made the Granite State a “right-to-work” state, eroding the ability of workers to collectively bargain. The bill would have made New Hampshire the only state in the Northeast with such a law.
The speaker of the New Hampshire state house has been trying to override the veto, but has so far been unsuccessful. Today, GOP 2012 presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann told the speaker, William O’Brien, that “I’ll twist anybody’s arm you want me to” in order to drum up enough votes to make right-to-work a New Hampshire reality. Watch it (via Granite State Progress):
During a speech before the New Hampshire legislature, Bachmann claimed that right-to-work laws boost both employment and economic growth, causing the divided legislature to erupt in both cheers and very audible boos:
BACHMANN: Just a few more votes and we’ll be there New Hampshire. Because you see it’s a proven fact that right-to-work states have created more jobs than those that are not. Facts are stubborn things. Facts are stubborn things and right-to-work states have experienced more economic growth than states that are not right-to-work states.
Facts are indeed stubborn things, and Bachmann has had plenty of experience in playing fast and loose with them. Contrary to her assertions, economist Gordon Lafer has found that right-to-work laws “have no impact in boosting economic growth.” “Research shows that there is no relationship between right-to-work laws and state unemployment rates, state per capita income, or state job growth,” he found.
All they do is undermine the ability of workers to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and worker protections. In fact, “right-to-work laws lower wages — for both union and nonunion workers alike — by an average of $1,500 per year.”