Press Statement On the Pandemic Pay Program

For immediate release

Contact: David C. Dal Zin,, 860-550-3113

Labor Urges Legislature to Fully Fund Pandemic Pay Program

Ed Hawthorne and Shellye Davis, President and Executive Vice President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, respectively, made the following statements in response to Comptroller-elect Sean Scanlon’s press conference on the pandemic pay law:

Ed Hawthorne, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

“The labor movement is grateful to Comptroller-elect Sean Scanlon for doing everything in his power to ensure essential workers receive the benefit they were promised in the pandemic pay law.

“Gov. Lamont declared these workers essential by executive order. That meant they were forced to show up to work oftentimes without adequate personal protective equipment, without vaccines, and at great risk to their physical and mental health.

“At the bare minimum, the Governor and legislature need to keep their promise to essential workers and fully fund the pandemic pay program. We knew from the beginning that the allocated funding was woefully inadequate. Now that the applications far outpace the available funding, they need to do the right thing and fund the program appropriately.

“Providing an essential worker who worked full-time throughout the pandemic with a one-time payment of $1,000 seems like the least we should do to honor their sacrifice and thank them for keeping the economy moving.”

Shellye Davis, Executive Vice President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

“Our state’s essential workers – nurses, fire fighters, grocery store workers, bus drivers, nursing home workers and many others – went to work every day despite the risk to their health and the health of their loved ones. Many died. Even more got sick and were hospitalized. All because they were unable to work from home.

“With a projected multi-billion dollar surplus and the largest Rainy Day Fund our state has ever seen, Gov. Lamont and the legislature need to fully fund the pandemic pay program for essential workers. To not make this a priority during a possible special session would be a slap in the face to all essential workers who put themselves and their families at risk to keep our state running.

“In fact, this program should be expanded to include municipal essential workers who were left out. Our local fire fighters, police officers, education workers, and so many others are equally deserving of pandemic pay. The program should also include essential workers designated as CDC vaccination category 1C. These exclusions need to be addressed in any upcoming special sessions.”

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UFCW Responds to Midterm Election Results

Last week’s midterm elections saw many workers’ rights supporters win their races in federal and state elections across the country. 

“UFCW’s members helped deliver a powerful message by casting their votes for the candidates that best represent the needs of our nation’s hard-working essential workers,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement.

“Across the country, UFCW members mobilized to vote for candidates up and down the ballot that prioritized the bread-and-butter issues of working people. Their voice was heard loud and clear in key races in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Maryland,” Perrone added.

“Now, it’s time for those elected from both parties on Tuesday night to put politics aside, work together, and deliver real solutions that address the everyday problems facing our members, their families, and millions of workers across this country. From now until the next election, the UFCW, America’s largest private sector union of essential workers, will continue to fight for the better life our members – and all workers – have earned and deserve.”

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Much Needed Aid to UFCW Local 1625 Sisters and Brothers in Florida

Hurricane Ian hit Florida and has had a devastating effect.  Among the millions impacted by this storm, UFCW Local No. 1625 has advised that 95 percent of their membership has been affected based on the path of the storm.  We anticipate many of their members will be in urgent need of temporary shelter, clothes, fresh food, and other daily essentials.

To help members in Florida during this critical time, you can send donations to:

UFCW Hardship Fund

Office of the Secretary-Treasurer

1775 K Street, NW

Washington DC  20006

Local 919 will make a sizable donation to help our Sisters and Brothers

Thank you again for all that you do and hope that you can help our UFCW members in need.

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