Over the last several decades, average workers’ wages have not kept pace with inflation, while at the same time; corporate greed and income inequality have reached near-record highs. The Labor Movement is the only institution that has consistently worked for more than a century to improve the lives of working men and women. By bargaining strong wages and benefits, decreasing poverty, and improving workers’ general well-being, unions have raised the floor for all workers, not just their members. In so doing, Labor has expanded the middle class and helps ensure that government works for everyone—not just for the wealthy few.
The Connecticut AFL-CIO advocates for legislation and a state budget that protect and improve the rights, health, safety, and quality of life for its members and all working men and women. The 2017 legislative session convenes on January 4th and adjourns June 7th. The following constitute the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s legislative priorities:
- Grow Connecticut’s economy by rejecting failed austerity measures and adopting a state budget that focuses on infrastructure investment, workforce development, and fair taxation of individual and corporate wealth, while creating economic opportunities for working families, including raising the minimum wage to $20/hour by 2020.
- Establish financial penalties for large employers of low-wage workers who exploit the taxpayer-funded public service safety net.
- Block legislation to curtail workers’ rights to organize, collectively bargain, resolve disputes through binding arbitration and limit their ability to negotiate a fair collective bargaining agreement through deceptive "Right-to-Work" laws.
- Honor products of the collective bargaining process and preserve negotiated benefits, i.e. public employee contracts and pensions.
- Embrace efforts to create and maintain a diverse and qualified workforce and the timely, compliant completion of public construction projects by protecting Connecticut’s prevailing wage and encouraging the widespread use of project labor agreements.
- Advocate for fair and full funding of vital public services, while blocking efforts to outsource those delivery of those services to unaccountable private providers.
- Ensure that terminated workers receive, in a timely manner, all compensation to which they are entitled.