We've gone over why Tom Foley is bad for Connecticut's working families. He would repeal the state's paid sick days law, opposes raising the state's minimum wage and has a history of laying off workers from the businesses he buys. But a recent Connecticut Post story goes a little deeper, taking a look at a strike at an electrical equipment manufacturer in Chambersburg, Pa., where Foley was an executive.
Tom Foley is one of the Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections, and he keeps making that very clear. As reporter Ken Dixon tweeted (see above), Foley recently said that the state of Connecticut should handle its health care the same way corporations such as Walmart do. People who pay attention already know how ludicrous that statement is, but it is particularly bad coming on the day Walmart cut health care for 30,000 part-time workers and raised premiums on all 1.2 million of its employees participating in the company's health care plan.
It's an election year and we are quickly approaching the time when working families will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote against a whole host of extreme candidates who support policies that limit rights, make it even harder to afford a middle-class life and pad the pockets of their corporate buddies. One of the "Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections" is Tom Foley, who is running for governor in Connecticut.
In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
When you hear a conservative argument as to why we can't pass a policy that helps working families, you are pretty safe in assuming that it won't stand up to closer examination. In today's example, the topic is paid sick days. Extremist pro-business groups that oppose requiring that paid sick days be offered to employees often make the cynical argument that if paid sick days are offered, workers will exploit and abuse them and that will hurt businesses. The real-world evidence, not surprisingly, says otherwise.
In 2011, Connecticut became the first state to require employers to provide paid sick days for workers, including part-time employees. At the time, extreme pro-business interests in the state ran through the common, yet tired, arguments about paid sick leave in efforts to stop the law from passing. After 18 months of the law being in effect, researchers Eileen Appelbaum, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), and Ruth Milkman, a professor at CUNY, surveyed more than 250 employers in the state to determine the effects of the law. The results of the study pretty soundly reject the conservative arguments against paid sick leave.
It may have taken two years, but construction workers in Meriden, Conn., finally will have access to well-paying quality construction jobs on two major renovation projects at local high schools after the Meriden City Council voted this week to uphold a project labor agreement (PLA).
On Friday, the Connecticut Senate passed a bill that would create a task force to study family medical leave insurance for the state's workers. The bill previously passed the House and now goes to Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) for his signature. The bill would assemble a task force to study the creation of a program to provide short-term benefits to workers who must take time off because of pregnancy, childbirth, non-work illness or injury, or to take care of a family member. Federal law already provides for unpaid leave in such situations, but states such as California and New Jersey also require paid time off in certain cases.
Despite a slate of state legislation attacking the rights of voters, a number of states are advancing legislation that would enhance the ability of U.S. citizens to exercise their right to choose their representatives. Among the most likely advances in voting rights in the states: