Connecticut played a pioneering role in advancing several key pieces of legislation related to families, including family and medical leave and paid sick time.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and other officials will gather in Hamden to highlight what they say is Connecticut’s role as a model for the nation.
“Connecticut has always been a leader on family-friendly workplace policies, from the passage of a state Family and Medical Leave Act, which led to a federal FMLA policy, to the first state paid sick days legislation in 2011, and now the creation of a legislative taskforce to study family medical leave insurance during the 2013 legislative session,” the Working Families party said in a press release announcing Tuesday’s press conference. The event is also being sponsored by the Connecticut Association for Human Services.
In addition to DeLauro, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and Connecticut AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Lori Pelletier are expected to attend.
Chanting ”hey hey, hey ho, Gov. Walker’s got to go,” more than 100 union activists gathered in a pocket park across from the Stamford Hilton hotel Monday afternoon to protest a visit by Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
“We think he wasn’t fair and we don’t want to hear what he has to say,” said Vanetta Lloyd of New Haven, the president of child care workers union. “We don’t want him here in Connecticut.”
Walker, who gained a national reputation for his efforts to quash public employee unions in Wisconsin, was the featured speaker at the Connecticut Republican party’s annual fundraising dinner. His appearance drew a busload of protesters from New Haven and other parts of the state; many wore purple Service Employees International Union or red American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union t-shirts.
“Connecticut is not a state that welcomes attacks on workers rights and attacks on the middle class,” said Larry Dorman, a longtime union official who helped organize the protest. “What happened in Wisconsin was horrible for Wisconsin and it would be horrible for any other state including ours.”
The protesters waved signs and shouted slogans such as “Scotty Walker, what a joke, he’s in love with the Brothers Koch.” Several oversized inflatables, including a giant rat and a fat cat, hovered nearby. Continue reading
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be in Connecticut Monday to headline the state Republican party’s annual Prescott Bush awards dinner and union activists will be on hand to greet him.
“With considerable help from super-wealthy right-wingers like the Koch Brothers, Walker in 2011 rammed through legislation the stripped Wisconsin public service workers of their collective bargaining rights, sending his state on a downward spiral,” states a press release announcing the protest issued by longtime union activist Larry Dorman.
The protesters plan to meet at the Stamford train station at 5:15, then march over to the Stamford Hilton Hotel, where Walker will speak.
The state GOP was anticipating the protests. “It’s not surprising that the public unions and special interests are up in arms — anytime someone attempts to reign in out-of-control government spending, they’re quick to paint them as the enemy of education and the working class in hopes of concealing their agenda of demanding lavish benefits and automatic 6 percent pay raises every year,” the Connecticut Republican Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. wrote on the party’s website.
More than 200 friends and labor leaders Sunday mourned the death and celebrated the life of Dennis O’Neil, a stalwart in the labor movement who was well known for his advocacy at the state Capitol.
With the wit and humor of an Irish poet, O’Neil lived a full life that included telling stories at the state Capitol and once tackling Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka during a college game in the 1960s.
O’Neil died Friday at the age of 65 of complications from lung cancer, which his family attributed to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for more than 20 years. But O’Neil quit smoking in 1990, around the time when he started working as a lobbyist and legislative director for AFSCME Council 4.
It was at AFSCME that Denny became a fixture at the state Capitol, telling stories with a smile and lobbying throughout the Legislative Office Building. Continue reading
Colleague Kevin Rennie’s driveby hit on Sharon Palmer on Daily Ructions and on WTIC this morning was certainly fair game — she did accept some kind of award from a Communist group a few years ago and she’s now Gov. Malloy’s Commissioner of Labor.
But Palmer, a labor leader I’ve known and argued with for years, deserves more than this too easy cheap shot.
Yes Palmer is the president of the Connecticut Federation of Teachers. She’s also the union leader who went further out on a limb that any other, looking for compromise during the stand-off over education reform earlier this year. She helped to forge a groundbreaking teachers contract in New Haven, meeting for months to hammer out a deal that makes new demands and brings fresh accountablity. It’s arguably far more of a refom plan than anything that came out of the state legislature.
It was Palmer, behind closed doors, who tried to bring Malloy and teachers closer together. She’s open to new ideas while defending her profession. She’s willing to admit teachers and unions must change and evolve. She listens and she’s willing to compromise.
A lot of the time, I don’t agree with Palmer. But she’s honest, open minded and believes in teachers and children. If this is a Communist operative, we could use a lot more of them.