NH labor groups announce legislative agenda

New Hampshire labor groups announce support for increase in minimum wage, worker protections

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire labor groups announced support Tuesday for an increase in the minimum wage and bills they say would improve the lives of working families.

State AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie listed a series of bills at a news conference that labor groups will work to pass this legislative session. MacKenzie said the most important one is increasing the minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, to $9 over two years.

"This is going to be a fight for working people," MacKenzie said.

He said the extra money will be spent on rent, utilities and other essentials.

New Hampshire's minimum wage is the federal minimum. Republicans overrode former Gov. John Lynch's veto three years ago and stripped New Hampshire's minimum wage law from the books. The change had no consequence for employers or employees because New Hampshire's minimum wage was the same as the federal wage. Lynch, a Democrat, and other opponents of repealing the state law argued it ceded control to Congress. Efforts to reinstate the state law failed last year.

Labor groups also are supporting bills that protect temporary workers' rights; preserve the privacy of workers' personal credit histories; prohibit employers from requiring access to private social media accounts; prohibit employers from barring workers from discussing their salaries; limit fees charged when employers pay workers with payroll cards instead of by check; establish a state prevailing wage law; and require contractors on state-funded projects to file certified payroll reports to show how money is spent.

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