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Labor Beat: Connecticut Legislative Update

By Roger P. Gilson Jr.
  • June 25, 2001

The State Senate ended its legislative session in June without voting on a bill that prohibits private employers receiving state funding to use those funds to oppose union activity (SB No. 763). The State House passed a similar bill on June 1, 2001 (HB No. 6936). Such use of state funds became a hot issue during this Spring's statewide nursing home strike by the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199. During the strike, Governor John Rowland rejected the union's demands that the state stop reimbursing the homes for the cost of retaining replacement workers. Accusing the state of violating federal law by interfering with a private labor dispute, the union unsuccessfully sought an injunction against further state reimbursements. Meanwhile, the union was pushing for the passage of this bill.

Whether or not the State Senate reconsiders the bill during the next legislative session in February, 2002, the union will continue to push for its passage, as has the parent union, the Service Employees International Union, in other states, including California and West Virginia. Indeed, the state's use of funds for replacement workers during the recent nursing home strike may very well strengthen the union's resolve to get the bill passed next year.

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