Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Labor Leaders Say Unions Make Connecticut More Competitive

February 18, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

HARTFORD, Conn.—Finally given a chance to speak before the state’s “competitiveness commission” Feb. 9, Connecticut labor leaders said that strengthening unions and closing tax loopholes for the rich would benefit the state’s economy. “Union workers empowered by the freedom to negotiate with their employers do better on every single economic benchmark,” state AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier told the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, while Connecticut Education Association head Donald Williams said that the “income-tax avoidance industry” has won lower tax rates for hedge-fund and private-equity firm managers. Union leaders have charged that the panel, created by the state legislature last October is biased toward business interests: It’s cochaired by a health-care entrepreneur and a bank CEO, and was endorsed by Gov. Dannel Malloy as giving the private sector a “greater voice in strengthening our state’s fiscal foundation.” Pelletier told the Connecticut Mirror Web site Feb. 8 that she found it curious that the Connecticut Business and Industry Association lobbying group had urged legislators to adopt the commission’s recommendations “that reform state pensions and collective bargaining”—three weeks before its report to the legislature is due. “It appears the fix is in,” she said. Read more

February 18, 2018

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