We Make Connecticut Happen

Rallying to Save the DOL

AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Lori Pelletier fires up the crowd at the DOL rally.

Council 4 and Connecticut AFL-CIO union members continue to raise their voice in protest against Department of Labor layoffs and service cuts that will harm Connecticut workers and the unemployed.

After holding a spirited rally on Sept. 26 outside DOL headquarters in Wethersfield, members of our P-2 Human and Social Services Bargaining Unit and NP-3 Administrative Clerical Bargaining Unit testified before a special hearing of the legislature's Labor and Public Employees Committee on Sept. 28.

"We are doing a disservice to the people of Connecticut," said Xavier Gordon, president of AFSCME Local 269, which represents Department of Labor employees.

Gordon told the Labor Committee that layoffs will lead to longer waits and time lapses for those needing unemployment benefits.

This past August, the Malloy administration and the DOL announced 95 layoffs and the closing of six American Job Centers in some of Connecticut's most distressed areas, including Meriden, New Britain, Willimantic and Norwich.

"I want this agency to be the Department of Labor not the Department of Layoff," Local 269 Vice President Marsha Tulloch told rally participants. "I want this to be where we continue provide help for workers who have lost their jobs. A place where we are putting all workers, especially the most disadvantaged members of society, back to work."

Thanks to strong and vigorous representation from Council 4, virtually all of the 95 laid off workers have been placed elsewhere in state government, with some even getting pay increases in their new jobs. 

Public pressure generated byour union, concerned citizens and legislators forced the agency to develop a plan in late September that will keep the job centers open but hand over their operation to private workforce development agencies.

State Clerical Local 562 President Anna Cruz testifies before the Labor Committee.

"We will be watching these centers and how these changes will be implemented because outsourcing is and should never be the answer," Tulloch added.

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