Observing a picket line during a labor dispute stirs emotions in many people and rightly so. Recently Teamster Local 1035 was picketing at the Coca-Cola facility in East Hartford. One sign read, “American workers under attack from corporate greed” another sign could have read, “American business under attack from union greed”. There are two sides to every labor dispute.
Daily we see and hear politicians at every level talk about jobs and unemployment. We hear “Connecticut is open for business” from Governor Malloy. We read in other sources that Connecticut is one the worst states when it comes to being business friendly.
When a labor dispute leads to a strike there are consequences for both the business and workers involved. The workers lose wages and the business is interrupted, long-term impact can be catastrophic ultimately the business could close and the worker could be unemployed.
Most strikes are a private matter between employers and workers. The only time government should be involved with the issues between labor and management is when matters of public health and welfare are at risk. It is not an appropriate role of an elected official in their elected capacity to take sides in a private matter.
In any labor dispute both sides are represented by citizens and taxpayers both sides are entitled to equal treatment from elected officials. There are times when being an elected official requires setting aside personal opinion much like any citizen serving on a jury would have to do. Treating all of your constituents with respect and equality should not be set aside for any reason.
When any elected official puts themselves before their constituents it is egregious and even more so when it is done for political purposes. Our United States Senator Richard Blumenthal has crossed the line of ethical behavior with his involvement with the Teamster Local 1035 strike.
On May 25th Mr. Blumenthal was photographed by staff from the Journal Inquirer marching with members of the local 1035 in support of their position. He spoke from a podium to the striking members of the local in support of their strike.
It is time for Senator Blumenthal to change his behavior. It is time he became a Senator for all the people and not an advocate for the special interests of union labor. Senator Blumenthal has not found the time to propose a budget in Washington since he was elected. The government has not had a budget since he was elected.
Any citizen might conclude the Democratic led United States Senate has been on strike and refusing to work for the people that elected them. The Democratic leadership has failed to enact a budget and has refused to act. That pretty much sums up the position of Senator Blumenthal and his leadership; they are on strike against the people of America.
Well Mr. Blumenthal it is time to stay away from the private matters of local labor and their picket lines. It is time you crossed the picket line of obstruction in Washington and call for immediate and meaningful action on a federal budget in the United States Senate. It is time to leave the picket lines and go to work as a United States Senator.