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CT Unions Rally For Brothers, Sisters In Wisconsin

by Christine Stuart | Feb 22, 2011 10:44am
(16) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Labor, State Capitol

It’s more than 1,000 miles away, but union workers and supporters in Connecticut will show their brothers and sisters in Wisconsin that they’re with them when they rally at the state Capitol in Hartford Wednesday afternoon.

Wisconsin is the birthplace of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, and “we want to show our solidarity,” Larry Dorman, spokesman for AFSCME Council 4, said Tuesday.

He said the noon rally is specifically rooted in the crisis in Wisconsin and Gov. Scott Walker’s desire to take away workers’ collective bargaining rights.

But it’s unlikely the situation in Connecticut, mainly the $2 billion in concessions Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has called for, will be completely ignored.

“I don’t want to say there’s a connection,” Dorman said. “There’s absolutely a marked contrast between Gov. Malloy, Gov. Walker, and Gov. Christie.”

He said unlike Walker and Christie, Malloy is not trying to dismantle the labor movement or trounce on collective bargaining rights. However, he said the situation in Wisconsin is a reminder that “we’re in a frontal assault on public employees and all middle class workers, which has to stop.”

“Whether it’s Madison, Wisconsin or New Haven, Connecticut, we will remind elected officials they need to create good jobs with fair pay, instead of attacking middle class working people,” Sal Luciano, executive director of AFSCME Council 4, said.

But despite the election of the first Democratic governor in more than 20 years, Connecticut’s more than 45,000 public employees feel like they’re under attack.

After helping elect Malloy by one of the slimmest margins in recent history, a feat he says he pulled off despite their support, they feel like they were blindsided by Malloy’s request for $2 billion over the next two years in concessions and savings.

At his first of 17 Town Hall meetings to discuss his budget proposal, which includes the largest tax hike in the state’s history, union workers turned out to express their displeasure with budget proposal and their share of the sacrifice.

Many felt they had given enough two years ago when they agreed to a wage freeze in the first year, and 2.5 percent increases in each of the following years, seven furlough days, and higher co-payments for health care benefits. The savings amount to close to $750 million, but Malloy was quick to point out about $300 million of those savings were delayed payments to the pension fund.

Malloy has said the unions got a bargain two years ago and they know it. Union workers countered that they’re taxpayers too and will be contributing not only in wages and benefits, if Malloy gets his way, but also in tax increases proposed in Malloy’s budget.

Wednesday’s rally will be held at noon on the steps of the state Capitol.

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(16) Comments

posted by: malvil | February 22, 2011  1:26pm

Lying teachers, senators in hiding, and greedy Union leaders all about to see the gravy train leave them at the station. The taxpayers are awakening. Teachers and state workers are no longer a protected class.

posted by: timelord | February 22, 2011  1:57pm

It will be a great day in the history of the United States when Wisconsin breaks collective bargaining for public employees.

posted by: AntonK | February 22, 2011  4:46pm

” However, he said the situation in Wisconsin is a reminder that “we’re in a frontal assault on public employees and all middle class workers, which has to stop.”

“Whether it’s Madison, Wisconsin or New Haven, Connecticut, we will remind elected officials they need to create good jobs with fair pay, instead of attacking middle class working people,” Sal Luciano, executive director of AFSCME Council 4, said.”

Baloney

Collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. The notion that this is “in the economic interests of the middle class” for government employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere to get above-market wages and extremely lavish benefits is just laughable. Sure, government employees are “middle class,” but so are the vast majority of taxpayers who don’t enjoy the special privileges that come from owning the means of coercion

posted by: hawkeye | February 22, 2011  5:22pm

The New Haven Police Union and participating police officers, in their Church Street rally the other day, are guilty of civil disobedience, to interrupt daily commerce in the City of New Haven. Possible arrests are be on the horizon for this costly over-reach of union muscle-power.  Union members should not cost citizens and taxpayers money, blocking up a major street in New Haven, as a union protest activity.

This is a vivid example of union greed, that is very damaging to our country, and making it dificult to tame state and local city budgets.

posted by: unionleo | February 22, 2011  5:36pm

I can understand the frustration of many of the people who are finally realizing they can’t become rich by spending their hard earned dollars trying to win the lottery or develop a skill that pays them better or join a union that makes the boss share the profits with them.
  What’s left - some think that trying to lower the bar for everyone so they can finally jump over it is the answer. 
  Others think it’ll be a better day in history when the middle class rises up together to help themselves and the people who have been left behind. We can end their anger and frustration with education and skills development and even help them regain the opportunity that went elsewhere and raise the bar for everyone. 
  If we work together we can bring new hope to those people and help everyone to do better, even the angry folks who have lost more than they gained in this lopsided economic race we’re in that has fewer winners getting bigger prizes every day.

posted by: skydogct | February 22, 2011  7:18pm

It’s awesome to see working people in CT getting together to support their brothers and sisters in Wisconsin. We need to send a message to the greedy Koch brothers and their mis-guided Tea Partiers who support their anti-worker agenda. It will be a great day in history for Wisconsin and the nation when Gov. Walker does like Mubarak and steps down.

posted by: hawkeye | February 22, 2011  8:20pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he will be forced to lay off union workers in his state, as he has no money. 

Failing to give union concessions is a bad boomerang for state unions.

posted by: WhatMeWorry | February 22, 2011  8:43pm

Find it amusing that union members love to point out they are taxpayers too, but they show up at the town hall meeting not as taxpayers, but as state employees. Don’t they get enough face time with Democratic politicians through their lobbyists, negotiators and union managers who represent them. They should not be hogging the spotlight at these meetings as employees.

posted by: CT Bill | February 22, 2011  8:46pm

Hey - dude who is STILL posting under 500 different names on this site and wrote all the comments under this article:

Like I said, you are ruining the comments section for everyone else.  No one could be possibly be reading all your posts.  And it’s pretty disrespectful to Christine.  Give it a rest.

posted by: hawkeye | February 23, 2011  9:47am

CT Bill:  How do you know that somone is posting under 500 different names, on this site?

It would appear, that you have insider information, that readers, do not have?  Please explain.

posted by: Christine Stuart | February 23, 2011  2:01pm

Christine Stuart

CT Bill,
I can assure you no one is posting under different names on the site. I monitor it all closely, so please don’t worry the comments are being diluted.
Christine

posted by: WhatMeWorry | February 23, 2011  2:40pm

These self serving elitists trying to say they speak for the middle class should be called out for what they are, greedy. Unions are not about improving society, they are only interested in their membership. They do not sacrifice, they do a job. Stop making them out as some superior class of people.

posted by: CT Bill | February 23, 2011  5:03pm

Christine,

Thanks for your response. 

I’m not really into tracking people and such, but this guy is *excessive*.

It’s pretty easy to see: A flood of rambling, 95%-hard-right-wing (have to throw in a liberal post once in while for “authenticity”!) rambling posts.  Look above - it’s as if someone wrote a 3-page rant, then chopped it up and posted it over the course of the day under different names.

And it has driven almost all other posters away.  (Seen any real dialogue in the comments section lately??)

Seriously: Look at the posts for your article, “Malloy Confronts Unions, Taxpayers (video added).”  Do really believe that 5 different people were up between 10:45pm and 1:21am writing unusually long, ranting comments for CTNewsJunkie?

And, trust me, getting access to lots of ISP addresses is no problem for a truly dedicated troll with a bit of tech savvy.

(For what it’s worth, I read lots of blogs and I know writing.  It’s easy to fake names and easy enough to get lots of ISP addresses, but it’s really hard to fake writing styles.  This guy can’t, which is why his posts are almost immediately identifiable.)

Bottom line: The effect is that progressives will not post here.  They are being filibustered.  Anything they might write will be buried in the floods of long, fairly unreadable rant-posts by one guy with nothing else to do in his life. 

The comment section of the site has thus been co-opted and ruined by one conservative blogger.

Sad, IMHO.

(But your reporting is still second-to-none!)

posted by: malvi | February 23, 2011  6:56pm

@ CT BILL IS it possible that most people who replied to this article dislike the unions? Just saying

posted by: bgenerous | February 23, 2011  8:20pm

CT BILL,

I posted at 1:21 am for the “Malloy Confronts Unions” piece and did no other post for that article.

I’m not sure how you have come to the conclusion that the first 4 posts were even remotely related to the next 3 for that article (in content/slant and writing style).  I do find it ironic that your post was complaining about “long, fairly unreadable rant posts…”

posted by: CT Bill | February 24, 2011  6:53am

Debate a troll’s sockpuppets? Not likely.