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House Chooses "Yea" on Employee Choice

March 2, 2007


A bill that would protect New Hampshire workers planning to unionize has jumped one hurdle. The Employee Freedom Choice Act was passed by the House of Representatives. The bill aims to stop employers from illegally thwarting workers' attempts to unionize. Under the bill, if a majority of employees sign a petition to unionize, they are allowed to do so, skipping the silent voting process. Julie Findley, a union member and New Hampshire court monitor, says shortening the process makes it harder for employers to influence a vote.

"They treat you differently, they single you out. They're not as flexible with you, as far as making mistakes, or pretending that you are making mistakes when you're not. In general, they'll just make your life miserable at work."

Opponents of the bill say putting employees' names out in the open on a petition doesn't protect their privacy. Findley doesn't buy that argument. She says many groups do the petitioning process anyways, before the silent ballot.

"We had 70 percent of the employees sign cards when we did ours because we wanted to make sure that we were going to have enough people in our group interested in joining."

The bill will still need to clear the Senate and get the president's signature.

Kevin Clay/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NH