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CT AFL-CIO Statement on Start of Second Week of Group Home Workers Strike

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Ed Hawthorne, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, made the following statement in response to group home and day program workers starting the second week of their strike as they continue to fight for a living wage, affordable health insurance, and funding for retirement:

Working families across Connecticut are extremely disappointed that Gov. Lamont and legislative leadership left over 1,700 group home and day program workers no choice but to continue to strike for a second week. By refusing to provide a pathway to $25 an hour, affordable healthcare, and funding for retirement for these dedicated caregivers, our elected officials have shown us how little they care for them.

Gov. Lamont and every member of the General Assembly in this state has praised essential workers for the important work they did during the pandemic. They praised the sacrifices they made, the risks they took, and how they kept the economy moving while many of us worked safely from home.

Now, they have an opportunity to show us what their words are worth. Or they can continue to ignore these workers and the clients they serve.

You can’t eat praise. A ‘thank you’ won’t pay your medical bills. A sign in the window doesn’t put food on the table.

It’s appalling to see one of the wealthiest states in the wealthiest nation pay poverty wages to caregivers doing essential work. With budget surpluses totaling over $7 billion in the last two years alone, Connecticut can afford to pay these workers what they deserve.

We just need our elected officials to do what they know is right and pay them a living wage.