Governor Lamont, Tell the National Guard to Stand Down!
No Strikebreakers in Connecticut!
Nearly 4,000 unionized healthcare workers at 33 nursing home and extended care facilities in Connecticut have voted to go on strike on Friday, May 14, if their demands for better wages and safer working conditions are not met. Another 6 facilities will go out on strike on May 28. They are members of District 1199 SEIU: only a few months ago these essential workers were being praised to the skies for their commitment and sacrifice, caring for elderly and disabled people in the places where Covid-19 has hit the hardest and been by far the most deadly. Signs thanking front-line healthcare workers for putting themselves at risk are still seen on front lawns all over Connecticut.
Green Party of Connecticut
For Immediate Release:
May 12, 2021
Peter Goselin, [email protected]
How soon bought-and-sold politicians like Governor Lamont forget! Instead of recognizing and supporting the demands of these low-wage workers, Lamont is taking a lesson from the Bad Old Days of labor relations: he’s calling out the National Guard, which he claims will be “protecting the public health and safety” during the strike.
“Folks in the labor movement know that there is only one role that the National Guard can play in a strike, and that’s as strike-breakers,” says Green Party of Connecticut co-chair Peter Goselin, a labor lawyer in Hartford and former member of District 1199. “We in the Green Party support the right of organized workers to withhold their labor by going on strike. Often, especially in the case of low wage workers, it’s the last, best weapon that they have when the boss won’t listen to their reasonable demands.”
Goselin points out that no governor has ever called out the National Guard to force employers to treat workers fairly, but there are plenty of historic examples of using them against workers.
The Green Party of Connecticut supports SEIU healthcare workers and encourages its members to volunteer to walk picket lines with them wherever they can. Governor Lamont must stop his attack on the rights of working people by ordering the National Guard to stand down.
Photograph: SEIU Healthcare 1199NE