Workers Rights

Responding to Attacks on "Our Rights and Freedoms"

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday issued its long-anticipated ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 lawsuit — one that favors billionaires out to destroy America's labor movement. The 5-4 decision overturned a four decades-old precedent and has long been the goal of a shadowy network of deep-pocketed political operatives. Here in Connecticut, union members gathered in Hartford to denounce this judicial attack on their freedom to negotiate a fair return on their work.
 

"U & I in Union:" Electing Our Own Advocates

Our members' jobs, whether in public education, healthcare, higher education or state service, are heavily impacted by policy decisions made at the local, state and federal levels. That’s why electing those who will stand up for working people has long been a high priority for AFT Connecticut. We're sharing the story of one such success in backing a retired teacher and lifelong education advocate as yet another example of the "union difference" in our lives.
 

Backing a Governor to Confront the Special Interests

Delegates to AFT Connecticut’s annual business convention on Saturday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to formally endorse Ned Lamont's candidacy in the 2018 gubernatorial election. The action follows months of preparations and preliminary mobilization that began last fall with the development of our state federation's strategic plan. The resolution sets in motion the critical volunteer recruitment phase in which union members will be tapped to fuel our grassroots "labor is your neighbor" program.
 

"U & I in Union:" Winning Labor Peace in the Workplace

The lion's share of analysis of current corporate-backed attempts to undermine collective bargaining rights have focused on their impact on employees' wages, health and retirement benefits. Yet, the ability to negotiate better working conditions often proves as valuable as regular raises or affordable medical coverage. In another example of the "union difference," we're sharing the story of how contract language for resolving conflicts provided recourse for a paraprofessional facing a hostile workplace.
 

Fighting for the Free, Fair Choice to Organize in the Workplace

Following years of advocacy, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2014 adopted rules to streamline union elections for working people in the private sector. The reform now faces significant risk from the Trump Administration's appointees to the federal agency overseeing the nation's employment laws. In response, the labor movement in Connecticut is escalating efforts to assure a harassment-free process for workers seeking a stronger voice on the job.
 

"U & I in Union:" Putting Collective Action Theory into Practice

Sharing personal stories that demonstrate union members' collective strength can be an effective tool in mobilizing a strong defense of hard-won rights and fundamental freedoms. In the face of escalating attacks by special interests seeking to sow discord and division among working people, they take on added urgency. To that end, we're lifting up examples like this story of how the "union difference" prevented an economic disaster for a veteran public employee's family.
 

Mobilizing to "Protect Our Freedom to Negotiate"

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in a corporate-funded lawsuit aimed directly at public employees across the country. That afternoon in Connecticut, union members gathered at simultaneous demonstrations to show the case's backers that working people aren’t backing down. All this took place as our state federation's leaders moved forward a plan to build greater strength for the future, regardless of the high court's ruling.
 

Fighting Forward in 2018

The planning process for any group can seem a bit like sausage-making. Without a roadmap, however, it is impossible to move forward when faced with escalating challenges on multiple fronts, from Hartford to Washington and in local communities across Connecticut. That's precisely why state federation leaders last summer embarked on a comprehensive effort to develop a strategic plan to build a more active and engaged "union of professionals" in 2018.
 

Union Leaders on Failure of Yale University to Negotiate with its Graduate Employees

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel made the following remarks on Yale's refusal to bargain a first contract with its graduate workforce:
 

Public Employees Converge on the Capitol to Defend Rights

With chants of "We Will Fight!," a crowd of nearly 1,500 on Friday took over Minuteman Park in Hartford to denounce lawmakers' proposals to silence the voices of working people. The rally was organized by members of unions representing Connecticut's public sector workforce as part of a series of actions throughout the day at the State Capitol complex. They came to resist 77 individual bills that, if passed into law, would roll-back collective bargaining rights and undermine state and municipal public service employees' pay and benefits.
 
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