Floor Speech on “Right to Work”

30 years ago last week, I was hired by American Airlines and remain an employee today.

30 years ago this week, I joined and became a member of the Allied Pilots Association, an independent, private union that represents the 14,000 plus pilots of American Airlines. I remain a member of that union today.

When I joined the APA, it was an open shop, meaning if you joined, you paid union dues… if you did not join, you did not pay union dues. Without any coercion, intimidation, or pressure, 98-99% of the pilots joined APA voluntarily, as did I.

So for 30 years now, I have paid between 1 and 1 ½% of my pay to the Allied Pilots Association.

Some of you are probably thinking “Why would anyone voluntarily give away 1 ½% of their pay?”

The answer, for me, is value received. Or put into a financial term, I have received an adequate “return on my investment”.

I know my ROI has been good for two reasons. 1) First, the pay, benefits, work rules and QWL I receive as a pilot are very good. 2) Secondly, I have seen how my union dues are utilized first hand when I spent nearly 8 years working full-time for the pilot’s union as a negotiator, Board of Director and union rep, much of that time at our headquarters in Dallas Texas.

But if I ever believed that the money I give to the union each month was not giving me an adequate value or return on investment, I should have the freedom and individual choice to discontinue paying those union dues.

RTW is really a misnomer. It is not about the right to work, but whether or not an individual must pay dues or a portion of those dues as an agency fee or contract maintenance fee if they choose not to be a member of the union.

You will hear, or have already heard, that RTW is union busting or anti-union. It is not. It is about the right to choose.

A very large majority of the citizens of NH support RTW. A majority of union members in our State support RTW.

In this assembly, there are two other Representatives who have or do belong to my union. The Rep from Kingston was a member of APA for his career at American Airlines. And the Representative from Wentworth, like myself, is a current member. We all support our union, the Allied Pilots Association. And we each support the RTW.

I would ask that each of you join me in supporting this legislation that would give the individual employee the choice to decide if paying union dues was a good personal value or not by pressing the Green button.

Thank you.

Posted in Speeches.