Close-up,Of,A,Carpenter,Using,A,Circular,Saw,To,Cut

Close-up of a carpenter using a circular saw to cut a large board of wood

As a proud member of the Carpenters union, I was disappointed in the op-ed by Mark Mix about right to work.

I've never met Mr. Mix, but I've been told he is not from New Hampshire, has never been a union member and is not a carpenter.

I have met my union leaders, though. They're carpenters who have done the same work I have. They've asked me about my work and my family life and how we can work together to improve both.

My union dues pay to negotiate an agreement that provides better wages, better job site safety and better benefits for me and my family. Our contractors treat us with respect because of that agreement and because they know our union and our fellow members stand up for each other.

Right to work would undermine all of that.

Workers already have the right to work for a non-union contractor if they want. Being union isn’t for everyone and it isn’t required. But working for a union contractor and getting the wages and benefits they pay because of the union without paying dues just isn't fair.

Why should some people be allowed to get the benefits but not pay their fair share? We don't make restaurants to serve everyone, but make paying optional, do we?

The dues we pay are not breaking the back of my family. In fact, I think the amount we pay is far less than the difference in the value of wages and benefits between union and nonunion workers in New Hampshire.

Right to work supporters keep saying they're doing this for the good of workers like me. If that's true, why are Mr. Mix and his friends spending so much in controversial campaign contributions, but not talking to actual workers like me?

My union provides skills training, professional development and builds good relationships with contractors who choose to be union. More than that, they represent me and my fellow trade workers.

We keep hearing that this is not an effort to weaken unions. So why is the head of a Virginia-based special interest group writing an angry hit piece on my union?

This isn't about workers or New Hampshire. It's a long-term, national effort to destroy unions, plain and simple. I hope our elected officials will see through this sham the way folks on the job see through Mr. Mix and his twisted logic.

Juan Miranda Torres is a member of Local 339, North Atlantic State Regional Council of Carpenters