Legal Action Emblematic of Mayor’s Anti-Worker Behavior
Press Contact: Matt McQuaid Phone: (202) 624-6877 Email: email@example.com
(SHELTON, Conn.) – The New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund has filed a lawsuit against the City of Shelton, Connecticut, over the city’s refusal to fund retirement contributions for workers at a rate that is required under federal law.
“It’s shameful that these hardworking men and women should have to worry about their retirement,” said Dennis Novak, Local 145 Secretary-Treasurer. “When the city fails to comply with federal law regarding pension obligations, it hurts not just these workers and their families, but the entire community.”
The contributions go toward the retirements of Teamsters Local 145 members employed by the city at the water pollution control facility. Those frontline workers, along with those at the Highway and Bridges Department., have been essential to keeping the city functioning during COVID-19. They have been working without a contract since July 1, 2018.
City workers have been on the receiving end of many labor violations, and multiple unfair labor practice complaints have been made against Mayor Mark Lauretti – including at least one instance where he threatened city workers for seeking to join the union.
“Collective bargaining is supposed to involve both sides coming to the table with clear demands,” Novak said. “Even worse, the mayor used procedural tricks to stall and delay this process for over four years. Mayor Lauretti is far more interested in playing games, attacking the union, and hurting public servants than he is in sitting down and negotiating about a fair contract. The Teamsters have come to the table in good faith and are seeking an agreement that is in the best interest of city workers and the residents of Shelton.”
“We’re standing up to get the best possible contract,” said Eddie Deptula, an operator who has been with the municipality for more than 30 years. “When honest, hardworking public servants are not only forced to work without an agreement for a long time, but don’t receive pay increases that keep pace with the cost of living, that’s patently unfair. On top of that, the city isn’t paying the total pension contributions.”
In addition to the monies owed for pension contributions, the lawsuit seeks financial remedy for interest, liquidated damages, and legal fees – meaning that the municipality could end up spending far more taxpayer dollars than it would have had the city simply complied with federal regulations.
Local 145 serves workers in a wide variety of crafts throughout Southwestern Connecticut. For more information go to http://teamsters145.org/contact-us.html.