Veterans, labor leaders and an elected official banded together to shed some light on how New Hampshire's proposed right-to-work law would affect the state's veterans in a conference call on Tuesday.
The speakers talked about how their union membership has been beneficial to them personally and what unions were doing to protect veterans working in both the public and private sector. They included Will Fischer, a Marine veteran and the executive director of the National Union Veterans Council of the AFL-CIO, Marie Morgan, an Air Force veteran and retired member of State Employees Association Local 1984 and NH state Rep. Sean Morrison, R-Epping, an Army National Guard veteran and member of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2664.
"It's important to realize you can't walk into any factory or mill, fire hall, VA hospital, post office; on to any job site in the state of New Hampshire and not run into a veteran who is also there working," said Fischer. "When you have a right-to-work bill, which is a bill that encourages stealing, you are taking money away from veterans, you are making veterans work places less safe and you are denying veterans what they need access to more than anything, not a standing ovation at a football game, but access to a good job that allows someone to live a life of dignity."
Morrison, a member of the labor committee, is one of a handful of Republicans who oppose right-to-work legislation. He said unions in New Hampshire have veteran hiring preference policies but also a program titled, "Helmets to Hard Hats," to help veterans transition back to civilian life through a training course.