Collapse of the middle class

With people being pushed to both ends of the spectrum, the middle class has decreased considerably in size. In 1971, the middle class made up 61 percent of the adult population, and by 2014 it accounted for less than 50 percent. This is all a direct result of corporations leading the charge to eliminate unions. As unions go, so goes the middle class.

The recent Supreme Court Janus decision is designed to hurt working people across New Hampshire. Public unions must now provide representation to employees who do not belong to the union and do not pay dues to support the union. It is an attempt to weaken the middle class, cause division among workers and undermine the ability for working families to share in New Hampshire’s economic growth.

Past gains in economic status were made because working families in District 12 and across the state had the right to organize and negotiate collectively for fair and equitable treatment in the workplace. Conditions we take for granted today all stem from hard-fought labor advocacy in the past. They include the five-day, 40-hour work week, health benefits and safety measures in the workplace.

The next attack on working families in New Hampshire is to bring “Right to Work” to the private sector. The anti-worker lobby wants to interfere with a private contract between workers and their employer. There are other plans to ensure the demise of unions and with it the middle class. Janus and the next wave of anti-worker legislation in Concord will ensure that middle-class wages in New Hampshire will stay stagnant for the foreseeable future, while the costs of important goods, such as housing, health care, child care and higher education will continue to skyrocket in price. It is predictable that workers in our district and state will continue to struggle financially.

As your District 12 senator, I will continue to fight for adequate wages and benefits to maintain and grow the middle class.