CALL TO ACTION: Help Our Allies, People for the American Way Hold Senator Ayotte Accountable for SCOTUS Obstructionism

Image

 

Join Our Allies, People for the American Way, in Holding Senator Kelly Ayotte Accountable for Her SCOTUS Nomination Obstruction 

 

Brothers & Sisters,

 

Next week, People for the American Way (“PFAW”) and other labor allies will be holding multiple #DoYourJob demonstrations throughout New Hampshire. The New Hampshire AFL-CIO supports the PFAW in their efforts to hold U.S. Senators accountable for their refusal to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. It is time that U.S. Senators live up to their constitutional responsibility and give Judge Garland’s nomination fair consideration. As such, we ask you to stand in solidarity with our allies at one of the following events:

 

Sen. Ayotte at Innovator’s Conference

When: Monday, May 2, 2016 – 08:00 AM – 09:00 AM

Where: St. Anselm’s Institute of Politics, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, NH 03102

 

 

Sen. Ayotte’s Portsmouth Office

When: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 – 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM

Where: 14 Manchester Square, Suite # 140, Portsmouth, NH 03801

 

 

Sen. Ayotte’s Manchester Office

When: Thursday, May 5, 2016 – 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM

Where: 1200 Elm Street, suite # 2, Manchester, NH 03101

 

 

 Sen. Ayotte’s Nashua Office

When: Friday, May 6, 2016 – 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM

Where: 144 Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060 

 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Join Fellow Labor Allies for the 2016 NH COSH Workers Memorial Day

Quote

Please Join Our Fellow Labor Allies for the 2016 NH COSH  Workers Memorial Day Remembrance

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Annual Dinner and Memorial Presentation

This annual event honors New Hampshire workers who were killed on the job in 2015.

Buffet Dinner and Guest Speakers 

Location: Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall
161 Londonderry Turnpike
Hooksett, NH 03106
Time: 05:30 PM – 08:30 PM 
 
More information about this event, and NH COSH can be found by clicking here
Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Air Traffic Control Privatization Creates Massive Risks

A Revenue-driven Model Would Endanger Safety and Eliminate Taxpayer Oversight

The United States has one of the most complex aviation systems in the world. The
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safely and efficiently manages over two million passengers and tons of cargo in the air every day.
New Hampshire’s 25 public use airports serve over 3,000 pilots and the air transportation needs of over 1.3 million New Hampshire residents, travelers, students and medical and military personnel.

A proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to privatize the FAA’s air traffic control (ATC) system and turn it into a not-for-profit corporation outside of the federal government. ATC privatization would eliminate congressional oversight and break up the FAA, putting our nation’s air traffic control system in the hands of private interests. This is especially worrisome, as the proposed ATC provider would not be accountable to Congress or taxpayers.

Privatizing a government function as critical as the management of our air traffic control system sets a dangerous precedent. The responsibility of managing the nation’s air traffic and the safety of its passengers should be guided by sound public policy, not the revenue-driven motives of a standalone corporation.

The proposed legislation carries worrisome risks for the people of New Hampshire and the backbone of the nation’s air traffic control system—the more than 15,000 air traffic controllers, engineers, safety inspectors and other employees that power it each day. In New England, the FAA maintains a large, diverse workforce of over 1,700 employees.[1] All of these workers power a system that safely and efficiently
moves more aircraft than any other country.

Of course the air traffic control system isn’t perfect and can be improved. But privatization will slow down technological progress and planned FAA upgrades, and may increase consumer costs. The measure will complicate the FAA’s focus on safety because goals of increasing revenue and reducing costs could be at odds with the FAA’s stringent safety mandate. 

General aviation supports nearly 800 jobs and contributes over $1 billion in annual economic impact to the State, according to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.[2] Changing air traffic control to a private, revenue-driven model will hurt general aviation and threaten good paying jobs and the working families who depend on them.

As a union representing thousands of FAA workers nationally, we know with certainty that privatization will eliminate essential workplace benefits and rights that we work hard to protect. Language included in the proposed legislation weakens labor laws and whistleblower protections for these employees and fails to guarantee that every collective bargaining agreement will have a grievance process, basically eliminating the means for employees to resolve workplace issues and protect their rights.

If privatization goes forward, employees performing the same job will have different pay and different benefits. This will decrease morale and make it difficult for the organization to attract and retain skilled and dedicated employees. This is especially serious considering that one-third of air traffic controllers are eligible to retire in the next few years. Over 1,000 have left the agency in the last year alone.

New Englanders fly 80 percent more frequently than the national average.[3] For people in New Hampshire, our air transportation system is essential to a strong economy that helps working families. Air travel powers commerce, fuels tourism and brings us closer to our families and friends.

Threats to workers’ rights, our safety and our economy demonstrate that there is too much at stake to justify the privatization of our air traffic control system. The FAA must remain a cohesive unit of federal employees, not a private business focused on revenue and costs.

Frank Moroney

Executive Director,
AFSCME Council 93

AFSCME International
Vice President

Frank Moroney is an AFSCME International Vice President and the Executive Director of AFSCME Council 93, which represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Op-Ed: Air Traffic Control Privatization Would Hurt New Hampshire’s Working Families

Quote

my picture

 

Air Traffic Control Privatization Would Hurt New Hampshire’s Working Families

Recently, there has been a push by some members of Congress to turn much of the air traffic control system (ATC) over to an independently owned corporation funded by user fees. This type of large scale privatization of the public airspace would eliminate responsible oversight, put good paying jobs in jeopardy and break up the ATC system as we know it.

Privatization of our air traffic control system is bad for workers in our state and will hurt New Hampshire’s economy. Control of the skies, which has traditionally been governed by public policy, will be placed in the hands of people more care more about revenue than safety and access.

Time and again we have seen that privatizing entire sectors of our economy leads to increased costs and lost jobs. Now more than ever, we should be protecting jobs and vital systems like the ATC from privatization.

New Hampshire’s airport system helps working families by creating jobs that fuel our state and local economies, while generating millions of dollars in state tax revenue. In addition to economic impact, aviation services such as medical evacuation, search and rescue operations, law enforcement flights, military exercises, and flight training all contribute directly to the quality of life of those who live and work in the state.

In a state like New Hampshire, where 40% of residents live in rural areas, and 66 percent live in places with population of less than 10,000 people, any threat to the viability of general aviation services that businesses or municipalities rely on is serious and will have a ripple effect on throughout the state.

Indirectly, these airports are also crucial to the continued vitality of aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions and aviation organizations in the state. It is estimated that 8.8 out of every 1,000 workers in New Hampshire are employed in the aerospace and aviation industry. Privatizing air traffic control will increase user fees, decrease access and put a rural state like New Hampshire at the bottom of the list of priorities.

In addition, the FAA maintains a large, diverse workforce of over 1,700 employees throughout New England that includes air traffic control specialists, engineers, safety inspectors and administrative support staff among others. Privatization plans will jeopardize their benefits and significantly weaken their labor rights such as collective bargaining and whistle blower protections. Future pay, healthcare and retirement benefits will no longer have the underpinnings of federal law, which applies to FAA employees today.

New Hampshire’s air transportation system drives the flow of commerce, tourists, and visitors to and from our state, and it is working families that reap the benefit in the form of basic services, better wages and a stronger economy.

As the debate of privatization continues, and its impact on general aviation, airports and airlines is evaluated, it is important to keep in mind that the hardworking families of New Hampshire will be the ones who are most negatively impacted, should privatization be enacted. That alone should be reason enough to oppose any privatization proposals.

Dave Laughton

Secretary-Treasurer, Granite State Teamsters Local 633 53

Goffstown Rd

Manchester, NH 03102 603-625-9731

laughton@teamsters633.com 

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the only union that represents every craft of workers in the airline industry. IBT contracts now cover 80,000 airline industry workers, including mechanics, customer service and ramp agents, stock clerks, dispatch personnel, flight attendants, and pilots nationwide.

Teamsters Local 633 was chartered in 1934. Since that time they have grown to over 4,700 members working in New Hampshire for several different employers. 

Sources:

  1. http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/aerorailtransit/aeronautics/documents/Chapter9-EconomicContribution.pdf
  2. http://nata.aero/data/files/gia/stateadvocacy/governorsproclamationofgaappreciationmonth2014.pdf
  3. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/arc/ro_center/media/ane_brochure.pdf 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above piece are those solely of the author, and not the opinion of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO.

 

 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Stand With Striking Verizon Workers

Quote

This morning, working people at Verizon went on strike. It’s never good when working families have to take this step but Verizon workers felt they had no choice.

 

They’re fighting to create a better workplace for themselves and those that come after them. They aren’t going to give up until Verizon ends its push to send jobs overseas, stops intimidating Verizon Wireless workers who are trying to create a better future for themselves and their families and drops its demands to cut retirement benefits, gut job security and to make workers move away from their homes and families for months at a time just to keep their jobs.

 

Sign the petition now to tell Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam that you’re standing with working people at Verizon who are on strike to protect their jobs.

These demands from Verizon executives are absurd. Verizon workers helped the company make $39 billion in profits over the last three years — and $1.8 billion a month in profits over the first three months of 2016. But that’s not enough for Verizon.

 

The company’s greed knows no bounds. While the company continues to demand working people give back more and more, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam made $18 million last year. That’s more than 200 times the compensation of the average Verizon employee!

 

It’s time for Verizon to acknowledge that working families also have a right to do well in America. It’s time for a contract that’s fair to Verizon’s working people and the customers we serve.

 

Add your name to the petition telling Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam you’ve got the back of striking workers and want him to settle a fair contract now! 

 

 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

NEW HAMPSHIRE AFL-CIO PRESIDENT, GLENN BRACKETT’S
 STATEMENT ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN FRIEDRICHS V. CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

Quote

NEW HAMPSHIRE AFL-CIO PRESIDENT, GLENN BRACKETT'S STATEMENT ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT'S

DECISION IN FRIEDRICHS
V. CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
 

HOOKSETT– Glenn Brackett, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold four decades of precedent that have protected our public employees:

 “The Supreme Court handed working men and women a major victory yesterday,” said Brackett. “Here in New Hampshire, this ruling protects more than 80,000 public employees. The Court’s decision represents a significant blow to the wealthy special interest that seek to control our democracy and undermine the rights of working families in the Granite State. Workers in New Hampshire and across America should take notice of the fact that the same wealthy corporate interests that helped fuel the attacks on workers in Friedrichs are also trying to prevent President Obama from fulfilling his Constitutional duty to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. That is why I am calling on Senator Ayotte to do her job, and demand a full public hearing and an up or down vote in the Senate on Judge Garland’s nomination.”

The plaintiffs in the Friedrichs case sought to destroy public sector unions by forcing them to give free services, such as contract negotiation, to public employees who choose not to join a union. Yesterday’s decision upheld decades of precedent, established in the 1977 case of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education,
that prevents free-riding by non-union public employees who benefit from union
bargaining efforts. This decision does not in any way alter the requirement that
all contributions to political action committees or union political activities must
be made voluntarily.

Yesterday’s decision should make it very clear how important the Supreme Court is to our democracy. We have an obligation to let our Senators, in every state, know that we will not stand for political games when it comes to the Supreme Court. Senator Ayotte should allow President Obama’s nominee to have a timely and fair hearing. The Granite State elected Senator Ayotte to represent our best interests, and it would be in her best interest, to listen to her constituents, and do her job. 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Splaine Wants Union Workers Building Sewer Plant

Quote

Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Splaine Wants Union Workers Building Sewer Plant

By Jeff McMenemy 
jmcmenemy@seacoastonline.com

PORTSMOUTH — Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine said he will introduce a motion at the April 4 City Council meeting to have the city enter into a project labor agreement for the construction of the city’s new $83.4 million sewer plant on the city-owned Peirce Island.

Splaine explained that if the council ultimately approves the proposal the plant will be built by either union members or workers who have been “union qualified so they would receive union-level benefits.”

“I think it guarantees quality and it guarantees a fair living wage with health insurance,” for the workers on the project, Splaine said Tuesday.

Splaine noted his father was an agent with the union building trades and he believes union workers “will do quality work and I think that’s what we expect in this case.”

Asked if he was concerned that hiring union workers would drive up the cost of what is already the biggest capital project in the city’s history, Splaine said, “No I’m not concerned because we get better quality workers, which means they’ll be more efficient and experienced.”

He acknowledged some have criticized union workers, but he believes they are typically more skilled and more experienced than non-union crews.

“You end up having more efficient people who are more experienced and we can benefit from that,” Splaine said.

City staff agreed at the City Council’s Monday night meeting to look into exactly what a project labor agreement would consist of.

Mayor Jack Blalock said he supports having city staff look into the issue.

But he said he’s still learning about project labor agreements and doesn’t “have any experience dealing with unions or putting out bids on projects.”

“I certainly agree that the staff should look at that,” Blalock said Tuesday.

Tom Hersey, business manager of Labor’s Local 976 in Portsmouth, asked the City Council to consider “that the wastewater plant be built under a project labor agreement.”

The agreement, he said Monday night at the City Council meeting, would “guarantee that all the workers on the job site would be paid the New Hampshire union rate.”

“One thing that you could guarantee by having this built under a project labor agreement is that you’d have a highly skilled, experienced, productive workforce,” he stated.

Even if the city awarded the bid for the project to an out-of-state contractor, they would have to hire “workers that have a connection to Portsmouth and the Seacoast,” Hersey said.

“They would bring with them a sense of pride building that wastewater plant safely, on time and under budget,” Hersey said.

Splaine cast the lone no vote against building the new sewer plant on Peirce Island, which he said should be protected for all its recreational uses.

“I want to make sure that since we’re building this plant on an environmentally sensitive Portsmouth treasure, that it is done right and with care,” Splaine said Tuesday.

 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Nashua Custodians Still Fighting for Contract Fairness

Quote

 

 

Yesterday members of the Nashua School Custodian Union stood outside, in the rain to advocate for fair contract practices. Late in 2015, the Nashua Board of Education voted to terminate the contract with the custodial union, Local 365/Council 93 AFSCME, and to issue a request for proposals for a private cleaning service to replace the custodians in the district as of July 1, 2016.

The members of the Nashua School Custodian Union are more than just custodians, they are friends to the students and the staff throughout the school district. They take pride in their work, and the role they have taken in the development of our children’s education. 

By voting to replace the members of the Nashua School Custodians union with a private cleaning service, the Board of Education has done a disservice to the children and the teachers of Nashua. The Board of Education seeks to bring in strangers who have no connection with Nashua, or loyalty to its residents. When profit is the main driver for performance, there is less incentive to do a good job, and more incentive to simply do the job.

The New Hampshire AFL-CIO praises the members of Local 365/Council 93 AFSCME who stood in the rain yesterday to have their voices heard and strongly believes that Nashua schools deserve the kind of dedication that these members have to their community.  

This struggle is not over yet. Remember, you support your community by supporting your Nashua School Custodians. 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post

Mike Edgar (D) Wins Special Election for State Rep. in Rockingham District 21

Quote

We are thrilled to see that the New Hampshire AFL-CIO endorsed candidate, Mike Edgar (D) has won yesterday’s special election for State Representative in Rockingham District 21. Representative elect, Edgar beat out “right to work” supporter Ken Sheffert by almost 400 votes in a three way race. Americans for Prosperity were active in this race, they conducted door-to-door voter outreach that was not enough to stop Rockingham District 21’s voters who understand the importance of workplace rights and the need for further progress for working families in New Hampshire. Election results are below:

ROC 21 Special House Election (Hampton, Multi-Member District)
Mike Edgar (D) – 1,467 (40%)
Phil Bean (I) – 1134 (31%)
Ken Sheffert (R) – 1074 (29%)
Total Votes Cast: 3,675
Estimated Turnout: 30% 

 

Share this New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor News Post