Raise Up NH Faith Community Statement
All our faith traditions have a concern for fairness and for workers. From the Jewish imperative that fulltime work lift families out of poverty, to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s statement that “a living wage assures social and economic benefits for the community as well as a supportive environment for employers who try to maintain fair wages”, to the Episcopal Church’s “support … the right of workers to form a union”, we can find many reasons to oppose the misleadingly named “Right to Work” proposal currently before the NH Legislature.
As Pope John Paul II wrote in “On Human Work #49” (1981) “Workers have the right to form associations for the purpose of defending their vital interests…The experience of history teaches that organizations of this type are an indispensable element of social life, especially in modem industrialized societies…It is clear that, even if it is because of their work needs that people unite to secure their rights, their union remains a constructive factor of social order and solidarity, and it is impossible to ignore it.”
Misleadingly-named Right to Work laws do not expand employment opportunities for anyone. Instead, they reduce average wages for all working families and would jeopardize New Hampshire’s status as a great place to live and work.
An interesting study by the Social Science Research Council, called the Measure of America, an opportunity index for 20161 lists New Hampshire as one the top 5 states to live in. The index considered things like high school graduation rates, civic engagement, crime and local economic factors. It is great to know that our state is one of the best!
However, we note that 15 of the 20 states with the worst opportunity rating are so called “Right to Work” states. These are states with low wages, high crime rates, and high unemployment and dropout rates. This is NOT the direction to take New Hampshire!
We are writing to urge you to oppose the so-called Right to Work (SB11 & HB520) bills currently before the Legislature.
1 Social Science Research Council, 300 Cadman Plaza West, 15th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201