Lori Pelletier: Freedom to join unions can fix our out-of-balance economy

On Labor Day, we recognize and honor the achievements of Connecticut’s working people. In 2017, this annual celebration comes at a critical time for our state and our nation. Collective action is on the rise – yet so are the attacks on our pay, health care, retirement security and rights on the job.

As we enjoy the fellowship of our loved ones at a barbecue, fireworks or other community event, it also is important to reflect on the best ways working people can come together to build an economy that works for all of us.

In growing numbers, working families across the country are taking action to win the freedom to negotiate a fair return on our work so we can provide for our families. As a result of our unity at the bargaining table, working people in 2016 won the largest pay increase in years. A strong majority of Americans have a positive view of unions. Working people are organizing, from traditional manufacturing to higher education to the digital economy.

Just last month, more than 100 program managers at the Department of Children and Families organized into a union to establish a stronger voice at work. In February of this year, about 200 graduate workers at Yale followed the path of the graduate workers at UConn and joined together in union. Last August, over 900 workers at Danbury and New Milford Hospital did the same. And in November, nearly 200 attorneys in the public defenders’ office spoke up together and formed their union. The same go for the workers at Yankee Gas, dispatchers in Cromwell, police in Woodbury, and the nurses at CREC. The list goes on and on.

Click here to read the full op-ed.