Mayor, Board of Arbitration Must Finalize a Fair Agreement for City Workers
Press Contact: Matt McQuaid Phone: (202) 624-6877 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(SHELTON, Conn.) – Yesterday, Teamsters and community allies held a demonstration outside of Shelton City Hall during its Board of Aldermen meeting. They are calling on Mayor Mark Lauretti to stop engaging unlawful, anti-union behavior, and the Connecticut State Board of Mediation and Arbitration to make a settlement decision that delivers a fair contract to the city’s workers. The Teamster members perform critical services working for the Highway and Bridges Department and the Water Pollution Control facility.
“It’s disgraceful that our members have been working under an expired contract for more than four years,” said Dennis Novak, Teamsters Local 145 Secretary-Treasurer. “Shelton municipal workers have sacrificed so much since the pandemic began, and they continue to put their lives on the line every day in their community while dealing with the pressure of economic uncertainty at home. As the cost of living continues to rise, our workers deserve a fair contract, reasonable wages, and good benefits.”
The union, mayor, and arbitration panel met earlier today. While some progress was made, the two sides are still far from a tentative agreement. Local labor leaders who rallied with the Teamsters said the mayor’s behavior during this process has been consistent with his anti-worker, anti-union attitude.
“Mayor Lauretti’s treatment of the workers who do so much for his community is abominable,” said Rocco Calo, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 1150 and Eastern Region International Vice President. “This has now become an utter disgrace for the hardworking public service workers in Shelton. Residents of this community need to know that this isn’t just about this one contract. This is about a consistent lack of respect for city workers and the rules around collective bargaining in the state of Connecticut.”
During the four years that the workers have been without a collective bargaining agreement,
the mayor has taken a number of measures in an attempt to break the union.
These include direct bargaining with workers, threatening workers for trying to join the union, and outsourcing union work to nonunion city employees. Most recently, the mayor violated labor laws by cutting checks for the city workers, purportedly for raises they should have received over the past four years. The one-time payment fell short of the total monies the members should have received.
“This check is a step in the right direction,” said George Quadretti, a Local 145 member employed by the Building Maintenance Dept. “With that in mind, we need a new collective bargaining agreement that makes us whole not just for the past four years, but for the future as well. We’re working hard to keep the city functioning and we deserve to be treated with respect.”
“This outrageous treatment of hardworking municipal public servants in Shelton must stop,” Novak said. “We are calling on community leaders, labor leaders and allied organizations to join with us in standing up to Mayor Lauretti and his underhanded tactics that have hurt these workers and their families.”
Local 145 serves workers in a wide variety of crafts throughout Southwestern Connecticut.