Connecticut union protesters demanding $20 per hour detained after occupying health department: reportavril 9, 2021
Nursing home and other long-term care workers from SEIU 1199NE were protesting for their proposed “Bill of Rights” Thursday afternoon when activists entered state buildings and sat down on the ground.
A union spokesman did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
But in a Facebook post earlier Thursday, the union wrote that members and supportive state lawmakers had planned to rally in front of the state’s Department of Public Health, Office of Policy and Management and Department of Developmental Services to demand better pay.
“Too many workers in long-term care are living under the poverty line, without access to affordable healthcare for our families, without real opportunities for retirement, while also facing dangerous conditions daily,” the union’s Facebook post reads.
Video shared on the social media site showed a group of protesters marching in a circle in the street.
“One, two, three, four – no one should be working poor,” the protesters were chanting.
After some demonstrators were arrested, the union shared local news articles about the event.
Police detained some protesters who entered the state offices and sat down on the ground, the Hartford Courant reported.
The Hartford Police Department did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
The union organized another protest earlier in the week, to both mark 53 years to the date of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and to demand the state budget be amended to address the demands of the SEIU and other state workers.
The union is calling for the state to invest millions of dollars for medical services, mental health and at-risk children. Demands include a $20 minimum wage, cheaper union health insurance, paid sick leave and child care benefits.
Leadership wants Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont to reallocate current funds or raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for those programs.
Lamont pushed back against both of those ideas, according to the Courant, and is planning to rely on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief funding to help minimize state deficits.