In Latest Setback For Right-Wing War On Labor, NH. Gov. Lynch Vetoes ‘Right-To-Work’ Legislation

Today, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) vetoed HB 474, which, if enacted, would have converted New Hampshire into a “right-to-work” state. In vetoing the legislation, Lynch said that his veto is a rejection of the influence of outside interest groups and in defense of the right to organize:

The debate over the so-called right-to-work bill in New Hampshire appears to be largely driven by national outside interest groups, and is not a result of problems facing New Hampshire businesses or workers.

There is no justification in this case for state government to interfere with the right of private businesses to freely negotiate and enter into contracts with their employees. Therefore, I am vetoing HB 474.

Starting in January, conservative lawmakers in at least 14 states (the Wall Street Journal tracks 18) introduced so-called right-to-work legislation that would cripple the ability of workers to form strong unions. The Associated Press finds that these bills have failed to progress in almost all of the states in which they’ve been introduced. Here are just a few examples of states where right-to-work laws have been introduced and have failed to go anywhere:


INDIANA: In Indiana, House Democrats took a page from the playbook of their Wisconsin colleagues and fled the state to prevent the passage of a right-to-work bill. Shortly after the Democrats left and thousands of protesters mobilized against the legislation, the right-to-work bill was withdrawn.

MAINE: Despite a strong push by newly elected Gov. Paul LePage (R), Maine has thus far failed to move forward with the legislation. “We’ve got a budget to concentrate on,” said Sen. Christopher Rector, a Republican who was dismissive of the state’s right-to-work bills.

MISSOURI: In Missouri, Senate Majority Leader Rob Mayer (R) stressed the “need to be bold about this new agenda” and pushed for right-to-work laws — which had been on the state’s “back-burner since 1978” — immediately after being elected. Yet when the bill came up for debate in the Senate, it was shelved a mere three hours later, as it became clear that both Democrats and Republicans would filibuster it.

The Associated Press notes that the New Hampshire House is expected to vote again on the right-to-work proposal on May 25, in a bid to get the votes necessary to override Lynch’s veto.