Municipal Government, National

N.H. Labor Nominee Draws Union Ire

April 17, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

New Hampshire AFL-CIO Gov. Chris Sununu

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire AFL-CIO sharply criticized Gov. Chris Sununu nomination of union-shop ban supporter Ken Merrifield to head the state Department of Labor.

Sununu “has once again shown that conforming to a conservative ideology is more important than ensuring the protection of our workforce,” Glenn Brackett, president of the state federation, said in a statement Apr. 12, after Merrifield, mayor of the town of Franklin, testified at a public hearing. Brackett said that the nominee’s “character is not at issue,” but that his performance at the hearing had made it clear that his “grasp of the critical issues to New Hampshire labor, such as employee misclassification and the prevailing wage, is seriously lacking.” The state’s five-member Executive Council is scheduled to vote on the nomination Apr. 19, but might delay it for further questions, as three members—the two Democrats and one Republican—expressed reservations. While Merrifield agreed to meet regularly with labor leaders, Democrat Andru Volinsky wondered “why the governor’s choices don’t have experience relative to the departments they are going to lead.” Another issue is that Merrifield wants to stay on as mayor of Franklin, at least until October. Read more

April 16, 2017

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