|We Make Connecticut Happen|
Saunders, Sharpton Electrify New Haven
Vanetta Lloyd, far right, and members of Local 1303-102 from the New Haven Child Care Center. Photo by Stacey McCarthy.
Against the backdrop of a nationwide assault on middle class workers, noted civil rights leader, the Reverend Al Sharpton joined AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders in supporting New Haven public service workers March 14.
Saunders and Sharpton decried Mayor John DeStefano's anti-worker campaign, which has included layoffs and and a campaign to privatize school custodians, at a morning prayer breakfast at the Community Baptist Church in New Haven, during an editorial board meeting at the New Haven Register and finally at a rousing rally at the United Methodist Church. Following the rally, hundreds of participants marched on City Hall.
The day included a prayer breakfast at the Baptist Community Church and culminated with a rally in front of 500 people at the United Methodist Church near City Hall.
Saunders thanked union members and members of the faith community for uniting and blasted DeStefano for treating public workers as the scapegoat for problems they did not create.
"It's the same trick politicans are pulling all across the country. Look at Wisconsin," Saunders said. "They took our voices away from us in Wisconsin. We will not let them take our voices away from us in New Haven."
The Rev. Sharpton and Secretary-Treasurer Saunders have been traveling around the country, speaking out against the assault on public services. They called New Haven a battleground in the fight to sustain the middle class and to repel attacks on unionized workers throughout the country.
Sharpton, now president of president of the National Action Network, said if workers can’t get a fair shake in New Haven, they can’t get one anywhere, and called for "a national showdown."
Rev. Scott Marks, Lee Saunders and Al Sharpton. Photo by Stacey McCarthy.
Scroll down for news coverage of the Saunders-Sharpton rally. And be sure to sign our electronic petition calling on New Haven's mayor to play fair with workers.
© American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. All rights reserved.
Photographs and illustrations, as well as text, cannot be used without permission from AFSCME.