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Malloy Sends Message With Labor Appointments

by | Jan 26, 2011 3:52pm
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Town News, Labor, State Capitol

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy nominated longtime construction union leader Glenn Marshall to head the Department of Labor on Wednesday at a joint press conference where he also announced that he has picked Dennis Murphy as the deputy commissioner.

Malloy said that he picked Marshall because of his experience within the labor movement and the building trades. On the other hand, he picked Murphy, who is a neutral labor arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, for his credentials in management.

The dual appointment was an effort to send a balanced message, Malloy said.

“I want a labor-friendly Labor Department and I want a management-friendly Labor Department. I want people to work together,” he told reporters. “Yeah I’m trying to send a message that this is a very balanced, even approach.”

However, Malloy said that the department needs to step up its enforcement, modernize its technology, and ensure that employers are playing by the rules.

Several union leaders lauded the appointment of Marshall, who currently serves as the president of Carpenters Union Local 210.

AFT Connecticut Second Vice President Leo Canty said that Marshall is a good fit for the position and is prepared to deal with the challenges ahead of him.

“I think he’s up for the run,” Canty said of Marshall following the press conference. “There’s no question in my mind that he’s got the skills and ability to understand how the workforce works and how the working people and the middle class in the state need to have their advocate and I think he’s a terrific advocate.”

A stagnant job market will likely be one of the challenges the new commissioner will face, Canty said. He said Marshall may even find himself playing a role in public sector negotiations, like previous commissioners who have stepped in to help kick-start stalled labor talks.

Kurt Westby, the state director of 32BJ SEIU, expressed his approval for the appointment.  Westby, who leads the union for commercial cleaners and property service workers and who was rumored to be one of the candidates for the position, said Malloy’s pick shows that the governor is committed to creating good jobs and a fair economy in the state.

“It is important that this position be held by someone who will stand up for the state’s working families, and I know from years of working with Glenn as a fellow labor leader that he has the expertise, experience, and judgment needed to ensure that workers’ rights are protected,” Westby said.

Canty said Murphy’s appointment and the balance it suggests also sends a good signal and that it is a nice change of pace to have a governor who emphasizes the common interest between business and labor rather than encouraging controversy and competition.

“The bottom line for everyone in the state of Connecticut is that the number of our common interests exceeds the number of our conflicts,” he said.

Murphy echoed the same sentiments in his own statements saying “in this economy we can’t afford to label ourselves pro-labor or pro-business. Gov. Malloy expects all of us to be pro-Connecticut and to find ways to create new jobs and get people back to work,” he said.

Marshall will be paid a salary of $130,000 a year while Murphy will receive $105,000, according to a spokesperson for the Malloy administration.

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(9) Archived Comments

posted by: Specter | January 26, 2011  5:54pm

“Carpenters Union Local 210”

Hmmm…Wonder how much they “contributed” to Malloy’s campaign…

posted by: Christine Stuart | January 26, 2011  6:00pm

Christine Stuart

You don’t have to wonder because it couldn’t have been more than $100, since Malloy was publicly financed. I’ll check right now if there was an independent expenditure by the union on his behalf. Nope. The guy who didn’t get the job, had his union make independent expenditures on Malloy’s behalf, but not Marshall.

posted by: ... | January 26, 2011  6:01pm

...

I assume you mean how many votes they gave him by putting quotes around contributed, as he could only accept donations from individuals less than 100 dollars, and no donations at all once he was on public financing.

posted by: hawkeye | January 26, 2011  8:17pm

POLITICAL PAY-OFF TIME: Glenn Marshall’s appointment appears to be a Gov. Malloy pay-back, for the union support, that helped put him intO the Governor’s chair. 

Malloy is paying his dues to the unions, as they were looking for more than a Thank You, from the Governor.

posted by: ... | January 26, 2011  10:10pm

...

I guess hawkeye, you either choose to focus on only one opinion of a group and disregard Christine Stuart’s post, or read about one appointment.

He made two choices (Commissioner and Deputy) as what is described in the article as a ‘balance’, with a union leader as commissioner, and a management leader as deputy.

Its better to be penny wise and analyze both of these nominees, who in tandem may work out great middle policy, than pound foolish by defaming one person who you may not even know, but assume based off one fact he/she must have paid dues to the Governor.

But were you going to expect any different or give Malloy praise if the roles were reversed (‘pro-management’ Comissioner, and ‘pro-union’ deputy)?

posted by: Specter | January 27, 2011  10:58am

joness: please understand the long-term, decades long relationship between democrats and unions. If you’re not suspicious when an appointment like this happens, then your eyes are closed to political realities. As to “great middle policy” - well we can hope. But a key thing to pay attention to is the fact that Murphy is the “deputy” and therefore reports to the commissioner. So who has the final say? We’ll see how it goes, but my bet is that decisions will be made and implemented that favor unions. As for Christine Stuart’s comment - well she can check all the databases she wants. Do you really believe that all transactions are listed? I don’t…What if the donations were funneled through the DCC or DNC by PACs?

posted by: hawkeye | January 27, 2011  11:13am

JonessAC12:  I’m sorry my opinion on Glenn Marshall’s appointment displeased you, but don’t involve Christine Stuart, in my opinion. She wrote a good article, and is entitled to her views. 

But, Joessey, you can’t honestly tell me that you feel the the appointment of Glenn Marshall, was not a Malloy gesture to please the unions for the support they gave him, to put him in the Governor’s chair.

I did not DEFAME our governor, by telling the truth, even you try to masquerade his appointment, with the contention that Malloy balanced that appointment, with another appointment.

“Sounds like someome is reaching for straws!”

posted by: ... | January 27, 2011  5:57pm

...

It is always good to be cautious and never fully believing everything you hear Specter to an extent.

And as I said in my last sentence to hawkeye somewhat cynically ‘were you going to expect any different?’ I would be a fool to think he would have chosen a pro-management commissioner when unions contributed a significant portion of their time on the campaign and with their votes.

But like our continuous suspicion of the higher powers as a cornerstone of our political tradition, so should be hope for a middle ground, and expectations that working together will bring about the best policies possible.

It is true that Comr. Marshall will have more leeway towards the main projects that go into the Labor Dept., but often times the deputy is the one on the ground doing the serious work and management of the agency.

But I agree, err on the side of apprehension, but also hope.

posted by: hawkeye | January 28, 2011  5:06pm

The long term relationship between Democrats and unions started some six decades ago, since the late, state Democratic powerful leader. John Bailey, imported the minority vote, from the Southern states, even paying to move them here, to turn them into generations of Democratic voters, leading us into the present, generous political entitlement programs, which have secured the big city Democratic vote,  and has kept us under control of the big spending circus of a Democratic General Assembly, and massive indebtedness, which has left us with a low-balled $3.4 state budget, and $19. billion dollars in bonded debt, to leave Connecticut, as the highest, per-capita, indebted state in the country.

John Bailey secured the Democratic vote, to control the State of Connecticut, over a half century ago, which now has resulted on leaving us, in the throes of bankruptcy.