Union Leader: Your Turn, NH: Terie Norelli -- It's time to fight for New Hampshire's working families
As we observed Labor Day Monday, we did more than fire up the barbecue and bid farewell to summer. We also took a moment to survey the workforce, and assess how it’s going for our working families.
While it’s still challenging out there, especially for low-wage workers, there are many bright spots. Here in New England, the region leads the way in labor laws, ensuring robust compensation, protections at work and rights to organize.
Sadly, one notable exception is New Hampshire. The thin line that separates us from bordering states is a dark one for low-wage workers. Oxfam America recently reviewed state labor laws across the country and our state ranks at No. 23 — whereas all the other New England states are in the top 10.
Much of this has to do with our wage policies, where New Hampshire ranks nearly last. This is largely about our minimum wage, which is rock bottom in the country, stuck for over 10 years at the federal minimum of $7.25 (a poverty wage for a family of two). Thirty states have raised their minimum wages, including all New England states — from a low of $10.10 in Connecticut to a high of $12 in Massachusetts.