Labor Leaders Respond

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Labor Leaders Respond
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Labor Leaders Respond

 

State labor union spokesmen pleaded for a weekend to wrap up voting and to allow their process to finish.  But as WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports, it’s unclear whether more time will change the fact that union members have rejected Governor Dannel Malloy’s concessions package.
 
As Matt O’Connor spoke to the press about the apparent death of the labor deal, he couldn't help but note the emergency vehicles speeding by. 
 
“I feel like that’s an omen.”
 
O’Connor is a spokesman for the umbrella group of state unions that has rejected Malloy’s deal to save $1.6 billion in the state’s budget.  He spoke to reporters just after Malloy finished his press conference.  The governor said he planned to start layoffs for 7,500 state employees as soon as possible.
 
And O'Connor said that the while the process of voting is still underway, the outcome will likely not change.  A revote, he said, is unlikely.
 
“We’re certainly not proceeding as though that’s an option.  I know there’s been a lot of talk about revotes, but that hasn't’ been discussed.”
 
O’Connor said state labor unions worked hard to get the deal passed, but that they faced an uphill battle.  O’Connor's colleague, Larry Dorman, agreed with Malloy – saying that layoffs are the worst option. 
 
“When we have such a high unemployment rate to begin with the last thing we need to see are more layoffs, more dislocation, more destruction, more desperation.  We don’t need that. “
 
And, despite the fact that Malloy has rejected the idea of further negotiations, Dorman pleaded for patience.  
 
“We do need to urge everyone in this building to be calm and cool and rational, because we all want the same thing in the end.  And we don’t want to see layoffs and massive service cuts.”
 
For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.