Posts tagged Connecticut

    Opinion: Unions’ deceptive ‘salting’ loophole leaves a bad taste

    November 3, 2023 // Workers United — a Service Employees International Union affiliate — hired labor organizers who got jobs at Starbucks, then pushed for unionization on the coffee company’s dime — while also collecting a union paycheck. These “salts” start by building trust with workers. As one Starbucks salt told a group of fellow organizers, it’s best to do “thankless chores” that gain the appreciation of peers and “make the company less suspicious of you.”

    Biden-backed wind power company cancels New Jersey projects despite $1B in subsidies

    November 1, 2023 // Under the Inflation Reduction Act, renewable developers stand to receive tax credits of up to 30% for qualifying investments that use union labor, and more credits if the project meets additional criteria. White House spokesperson Michael Kikukawa said in a statement that “momentum remains on the side of an expanding US offshore wind industry,” despite the collapse of the Ocean Wind project. “While macroeconomic headwinds are creating challenges for some projects, momentum remains on the side of an expanding U.S. offshore wind industry — creating good-paying union jobs in manufacturing, shipbuilding, and construction; strengthening the power grid; and providing new clean energy resources for American families and businesses,” Kikukawa said.

    Connecticut: While the longshoremen strike, Orsted brings other union workers to load ships at State Pier

    October 29, 2023 // “It’s another sad day for labor when unions will cross other unions' picket lines, regardless of what the issue is,” said Jim Paylor, assistant general organizer for the ILA. He was at the port when buses unloaded with workers from the Building Trades and Operating Engineers Unions.

    Vernon, police union reach agreement over contract, ending court dispute

    October 28, 2023 // The town and union had previously gone to arbitration with the union over pay and healthcare premiums during which the town failed to submit its final best offers on a wide range of contract issues to the arbitrators in what was called a “scrivener’s error,” resulting in the arbitration panel awarding the union everything it asked for at the time. The town then took the matter to court to overturn the arbitration decision. Vernon argued that because both parties agreed to waive statutory arbitration requirements, it was not required to submit last best offers on issues that were not in dispute. The arbitration panel disagreed with this argument, saying state statute requires that they reach a decision according to the statement of the last best offer and could not consider any offer that wasn’t documented in writing before them. That court case, which had statutory interpretation issues at stake, however, will no longer play out as the town and union appear to have reached an agreement, primarily around pay for officers and maintaining previous contract language around a number of other issues that had been decided by the arbitration panel when there was no final best offer from the town.

    Top Connecticut state police leaders retiring as investigators probe fake traffic ticket data claims

    October 4, 2023 // In August, the state police union voted no confidence in both Rovella and Mellekas, accusing them of not defending troopers against allegations involving the traffic stop data. Rovella was confirmed by state lawmakers in February 2019 to serve as commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which oversees state police. He's been in law enforcement for four decades, including as a homicide detective and the chief for Hartford police. Mellekas joined the state police as a trooper in 1994 and worked his way up to become commanding officer in 2019. He previously worked as a police officer at the U.S. Capitol. An audit released by University of Connecticut data analysts in June found a "high degree of confidence" that troopers submitted false information on citations for at least 25,966 traffic stops, and possibly more than 58,000 stops, that may have never happened from 2014 to 2021.

    First cannabis dispensary workers unionize in CT

    September 7, 2023 // Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis law requires companies to sign labor peace agreements ensuring they won’t prevent employees from organizing. The agreements, sometimes referred to as neutrality agreements, lay out how companies and labor organizations can behave during union organizing. They require employers to remain neutral during a unionization process, while preventing unions from picketing or holding work stoppages.

    Popular Union-Busting Tactic Banned in New York in ‘Major Victory’

    September 7, 2023 // New York has banned captive audience meetings, a popular union-busting tactic used by companies during organizing periods to disseminate anti-union information. Governor Kathy Hochul signed the bill on Wednesday morning, making the state the fifth in the U.S. to make such meetings illegal. “This legislation will help to ensure that all New Yorkers receive the benefits and protections that allow them to work with dignity,” Hochul said in a statement on Wednesday. “My administration is committed to making our state the most worker-friendly state in the nation, and I thank the bill sponsors for their partnership in our mission to establish the strongest and most robust protections right here in New York.”

    Hartford teacher wins labor complaint against union

    September 6, 2023 // Grande was disciplined by the Board of Education after two colleagues complained about his reaction to mandatory training on privilege. He was issued a letter of reprimand, saying he had made inappropriate and unprofessional comments during the training. Grande has pushed back against that reprimand saying he was asked his opinion on the training and gave an honest answer. HFT did file for arbitration on Grande’s behalf after they were made aware of their duty to fair representation, but it was too late, with more than six months elapsing between the second grievance denial and filing for arbitration, so their request was denied.

    California proposes paying unemployment benefits to striking workers

    August 24, 2023 // One of the main sponsors of the bill, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, said, “I think there’s more of a recognition that hardworking men and women need to have a seat at the table to discuss economic expansion.” He added, “It is embarrassing for California that we don’t have unemployment insurance for striking workers.” The deadline for California lawmakers to introduce new bills was in February, but state legislators can still rework unrelated bills, in a move called “gut-and-amend,” to circumvent the missed deadline and include the new language. The last-minute legislative push is backed by the California Labor Federation, which is led by former state Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez. When Gonzalez tried to pass a similar bill in 2019, it eventually passed both chambers but was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    OPINION: FRANK RICCI: Paying People To Strike Makes No Sense

    August 14, 2023 // Furthermore, a company’s unemployment experience rating is included as a fiscal cost factored into bids for state, municipal and private construction costs. Unemployment for striking workers will harm company ratings and place upward pressure on the price of goods, as well as our taxes. Rather than using its own funds to assist workers during a strike — a prime justification for its existence — the AFL-CIO is instead encouraging its members to contact their legislators to demand that they pass these bills so that taxpayers and businesses pick up the tab. This legislation places no restriction on union strike funds, so striking workers may collect funds from the unions as well. The result? Workers could be paid more to go and stay on strike than they would have made working — this will incentivize labor unrest.