Labor’s Statements on Last Night’s Election Results

The Connecticut AFL-CIO, AFT Connecticut, AFSCME Council 4, the Connecticut Building Trades, and UFCW Local 371 made the following statements in response to last night’s resounding election victories across the state:

Lori J. Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

“Last night was a resounding victory for working people all across our great state.

“I am so proud of all the work our members did this election cycle. They knocked tens of thousands of doors, made tens of thousands of phone calls, mailed nearly every member in the state, and made countless visits to worksites to talk with members about the importance of supporting pro-worker candidates. We engaged in this process earlier than we ever have, starting in April of this year, to make sure working people had a voice in the electoral process ahead of both party’s nominating conventions.

“But now that the election is over, our new Governor and legislature should embrace this momentum to act on the concerns workers articulated during the campaign.  They have a tremendous opportunity to invest in workers and build the middle class by embracing and moving a real workers’ agenda. Within the first 100 days, Connecticut should raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, enact earned family and medical leave, prohibit the abusive management practice of ‘on call scheduling,’ and continue to protect working people’s pay, retirement, and health care.”

Jan Hochadel, President of AFT Connecticut:

“Connecticut’s gubernatorial election results are a testament to our collective power to affect positive change when we’re engaged in the civic life of our members and our communities. Even an obscene amount of spending by outside special interest groups to push a deceptive message couldn’t overcome the strength of grassroots, neighborhood and worksite-level organizing.

“Our members — from classroom teachers to probation officers to emergency room nurses — understood our values were on the line. We listened to them and began to plan and mobilize more than a year ago. I am so proud of their commitment to the principle that the ‘U and I in Union’ is how we advocate for all working people here in Connecticut.”

Jody Barr, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 4:

“I’m proud of our AFSCME members for making their collective voice heard in support of candidates who support workers.

“From the start, we said this election was not about left or right, red or blue. It was about fighting back against a rigged economy. It was about sending a strong message to the wealthy and corporate special interests that are trying to destroy public services and to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of all workers.

“Our members are as diverse as Connecticut itself. Whether correction officers or paraprofessionals, social workers or police officers, AFSCME members are committed to working with Governor-elect Lamont and the new General Assembly to protect vital public services at the state and local level and to help move Connecticut’s economy forward.”

David Roche, President of the Connecticut Building Trades:

“This election was one of the most consequential elections of my lifetime. With an unprecedented number of attacks on the labor movement, our members came out to knock doors in larger numbers than ever before. And I could not be more proud of what we accomplished. Our members understood what was at stake in this election – our pay, our jobs and our right to collectively bargain. Not only do we literally build this state, we helped construct pro-worker legislative majorities that will help stem the attacks we have seen on the wages of construction workers over the last two years.”

Tom Wilkinson, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371:

“This election was a big win for our state, but the hard work of the labor movement does not end with either Democrats or Republicans winning. The only thing that will truly save working people is joining together in a union so workers can negotiate a fair return on their hard work. And based on what Connecticut’s unions were able to accomplish on Election Day, I know working people will continue to organize and speak up together for a better life.

“We won an opportunity. It is up to us in labor to follow through.”

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