labor | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

labor

Gail Nelson

Connecticut's unemployment rate has hovered above 8 percent, more than double the rate pre- pandemic. But now that the job market is picking up, why are business owners having such a hard time hiring? 

This hour, we talk about what employers are doing to get people back to work. We hear from a local landscaper who is navigating hiring during the pandemic. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Nearly half of Connecticut’s more than 8,000 COVID-19 deaths have come in nursing homes since March 2020, so it’s little wonder that just over 4,900 nursing home workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in that time. Last week, Service Employees International Union District 1199 New England notified 33 state nursing homes that its 3,400 workers would go on strike at 6 a.m. on May 14 if they can’t reach a deal that significantly improves their working conditions and compensation.

DAVE WURTZEL / Connecticut Public

Thirty-three Connecticut nursing homes received notifications on Friday that their unionized workers are ready to strike on May 14 if demands aren’t met for better wages, benefits and staffing ratios.

More than 3,400 workers are employed at the affected homes, which are owned by the chains Genesis Healthcare, iCare Health Network, RegalCare and Autumn Lake Healthcare. A total of 51 nursing home contracts have expired in Connecticut as of March 15, and workers at the remaining facilities could issue strike notices as well in the coming days.

W Carter / Wikimedia Commons

Latino workers have sued a manufacturer in Eastford, Connecticut, over alleged wage theft and racial discrimination.

Lamont Unveils Bipartisan Deal To Pay Off Huge Unemployment Trust Debt

Apr 20, 2021

Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled a plan Tuesday that would preserve Connecticut’s debt-riddled unemployment trust fund by curbing benefits for workers and asking more from the business community as a whole.

But the deal, which was endorsed by both major business and labor coalitions, actually would reduce unemployment taxes starting in 2024 on about three-quarters of all businesses. Those that lay off high numbers of workers, though, would pay more.

Bernardo Wolff / Creative Commons

Americans like to believe we live in a meritocracy but the odds are stacked in favor of the already lucky and fortunate. We congratulate the "winners" and humiliate the "losers," who are told to better themselves or carry the burden of their failure. 

The 2016 election of Donald Trump was decades in the making.  Like other populist leaders around the world, Trump gave voice to the resentment directed toward “elites” who devalue the hard work and dignity of workers without college degrees.

Chris Watt / Government of Scotland / Creative Commons

Amazon workers in the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse last week voted overwhelmingly not to join a union. This happened despite tales from inside Amazon warehouses across the country of grueling work conditions and little time for bathroom breaks.

Tony Webster

A number of media critics gave poor grades to reporters questioning President Biden at his first formal press conference last week. Is there a disconnect between what the media cares about, such as the filibuster and the 2024 election, and what people care about?

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill two years ago that gradually increases the state minimum wage to levels that will peak in 2023 at $15 per hour. At first glance, that seems like a win for working people. But Lauren Ruth, research and policy director with Connecticut Voices for Children, has co-authored a report that says with the state taking away key benefits at the same time, the minimum wage hike represents only a partial win for working people.

Connecticut AFL-CIO (Screengrab)

Essential workers infected by the coronavirus want Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system updated to meet their needs.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Luz Morales was working as a certified nursing assistant at RegalCare at Waterbury, a nursing home, when she fell ill with COVID-19.

At home, her 70-year-old mother, Nicia, looked in on her. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are starting to roll out, will schools and workplaces require their people to be vaccinated? Is that even legal? To talk more about this, Pullman & Comley attorney Mark Sommaruga joined All Things Considered.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The holiday season is coming up, but Coronavirus cases are on the rise. This hour, we check in with Governor Ned Lamont. Many of us want to see our families, but is that the best thing to do for our state and our health?

Many of Connecticut's surrounding states have been placed on Connecticut’s travel advisory list. And Connecticut's own positivity rate is rising.

Backus Nurses' Union Reaches Deal With Hospital Over New Contract

Oct 22, 2020
Nurses stand on the picket line on Oct. 13 outside Backus Hospital in Norwich. They have asked the hospital to provide sufficient protective gear and offer fair pay to retain experienced workers.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

A union representing more than 400 nurses at Backus Hospital approved by a near-unanimous vote on Wednesday a new, four-year contract that includes pay increases and ends a weeks-long standoff between the hospital and employees that triggered a two-day nurses’ strike.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

In raincoats, plastic ponchos and masks, Backus Hospital workers and their families Tuesday lined both sides of Washington Street in Norwich near the facility’s entrance. They held signs, waved to oncoming traffic and chanted.

“Nurses united will never be divided!” 

Bernardo Wolff / Creative Commons

The populist backlash that led to the election of President Trump was decades in the making.  Like other populist leaders around the world, Trump gave voice to the resentment directed toward “elites” who devalue the hard work and dignity of workers without college degrees.

CT-N

The new leader of Connecticut’s largest business organization is now in his second month on the job. Chris DiPentima, CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, joined Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered to talk about the tough act he has to follow, the current business climate statewide and his plans to make Connecticut businesses inclusive and equitable.

Ali Warshavsky / Connecticut Public Radio

McDonald’s workers at service plazas along I-95 celebrated a victory Thursday, receiving thousands of dollars in back pay from their franchise owner. 

Christine and Steve Schwartz interview job candidates in a parking lot outside their business, Express Employment Professionals in Shelton. Christine Schwartz says with the extra $600 unemployment benefit running out, more people are looking for work.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

The weekly $600 in additional federal unemployment benefits -- a payment more than 20% of Connecticut’s workforce has been relying on -- disappeared as of July 25. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week announced a plan to replace it with a lower payment -- Republicans contend that the $600 per week discourages work.

Hospital staff thank local fire, police departments, and EMS as they pay tribute to the health care providers at Saint Mary's Hospital who are on the front lines taking care of patients with COVID-19 on April 10, 2020 in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Friday creating a presumption that workers who became infected with COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it on the job and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

glegorly/iStock / Thinkstock

With so many layoffs statewide since the pandemic began, Connecticut workers have needed lots of help. And they’re going to need a lot more once the $600 federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance supplement comes to an end this weekend. 

Lamont To Order COVID Workers' Compensation Benefit

Jul 19, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont surprised lawmakers and lobbyists by announcing Friday afternoon he will sign an executive order creating a presumption that essential workers who contracted COVID-19 during the earliest days of the pandemic are eligible for workers’ compensation.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A union representing thousands of workers at Stop & Shop grocery stores around New England says it will file charges against the chain with the National Labor Relations Board. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union says the decision to end additional hazard pay -- or so-called “hero” pay -- for front-line workers at the beginning of July in this time of pandemic is “inexcusable.” 

a closed sign
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The economy has been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus pandemic, but predicting the longer-term effects of the downturn can be a tricky business. U.S. consumer spending was up a record 18% in May, despite the fact that unemployment remains in double digits. So how do we chart the future now that the pandemic has changed everything?

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Essential workers throughout the state who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 say they are being denied workers' compensation benefits. Four women recovering from the virus spoke out during a news conference hosted by the Connecticut chapter of the AFL-CIO.

DOL Says Unemployment Payment Backlog Solved By Computer Fix

Apr 15, 2020
unemployment website
Connecticut Public

Connecticut will pay tens of millions of dollars of backlogged unemployment insurance benefits in the next two weeks after crafting emergency upgrades to its nearly 40-year-old computer system, eliminating a major obstacle to mitigating the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, state labor officials said Wednesday.

amazon delivery
AP Photo/John Minchillo

People who work in service industries have been on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis in more ways than one. A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston says that means policymakers must put them first when it comes to rebuilding the economy. 

Coronavirus Crisis Fuels DeLauro’s Effort For Paid Sick Leave

Mar 9, 2020
Harriet Jones / WNPR

The coronavirus crisis has bolstered U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s effort to secure paid sick leave for all Americans, including low-wage workers who can’t afford to stay home when they are sick.

Rebecca Reindel / AFL-CIO

Advocates for workplace protections for health care and social services employees celebrated outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Thursday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would require national protection standards against workplace violence.

“Sadly, in America today, nurses, doctors, social workers, EMTs and nursing assistants are more likely to be the victims of on-the-job violence than any sector of our nation’s workforce,” said Democrat Rep. Joe Courtney, sponsor of the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center / Facebook

Visitor Center employees at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford have voted to unionize. It’s a trend among museum workers who look to unions not only for help with bread-and-butter issues like job security, but also to have a say in the museum’s future.

Pages