Connecticut State Employee Challenges the 1%

Every day when we open our newspapers or turn on the TV, we find attacks on workers, our unions, and the progress that we have made.  For example, look no further than this shameful Hartford Courant editorial that sides with rich nursing home owners and even advises locked-out workers that paying up to $7,000 more out of pocket for health care could help them manage their health “more wisely”.

Right-wing talking heads and editorial boards want to blame union members — like teachers, firefighters,  and health care workers — for today’s economic problems.  Their goal is to shift the focus away from the reckless speculation and greed of Wall St., and away from profit-hungry private equity firms whose CEOs are rewarded handsomely for outsourcing jobs, and away from a system where the richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom half of the country combined.

Back in October 2011, 1199 Delegate Mike Doyle, a Community Clinician at the Bridgeport Mental Health Center, was fed up with all of the lies and misinformation and the attempts by the 1% to divide-and-conquer working people.  So he wrote a powerful letter that was published in the Connecticut Post in which he called urgently for job creation for the unemployed and for holding corporations accountable.  It’s worth reading again today:

…Most major industries were able to exit [our state] with no strings attached.  If a parent did that to their family they would be in jail for dereliction of duty to their family, endangering the welfare of minors, etc. Our politicians stood idly by and waved goodbye, hoping that the CEOs would remember them and ask them to go golfing or fishing sometime in the future, while their constituents struggled to keep their heads above water and their bank account out of a deep hole.

Doyle also offered a strong defense of the important role of state employees in providing vital services to the public, sometimes at great danger to themselves:

Do the authors of vicious attacks against state employees ever pick up a shovel to fill a pothole on our highways as cars go whizzing by at 70‐plus miles per hour? Do the authors of that right-wing propaganda ever hold someone down while they were going into a seizure from alcoholic withdrawal or having a psychotic breakdown?  The answer is no.

To read the letter in its entirety, please click here for a downloadable and printable copy.  And click here to stand up for the locked-out HealthBridge workers and their residents by signing our petition.

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