With Labor Day taking place this past Monday, State Senate candidate Dante´ Bartolomeo has received endorsements from three prominent Connecticut labor unions. The Democratic nominee for the 13th Senate District seat that represents Meriden, Cheshire, Middletown, Middlefield and Rockfall, Bartolomeo has officially been endorsed by the AFL-CIO of CT, Council 4 AFSCME and the Connecticut State Building & Construction Trades Council.
“It is truly an honor for me to receive the endorsement of these three unions whose members have spent their lives laying the foundation of our communities,” Bartolomeo said. “I am proud to work with the AFL-CIO, Council 4 and the Building Trades to ensure a brighter future for middle-class citizens and working families, and will continue to do so every day as State Senator.”
The endorsements draw a sharp distinction between Bartolomeo and her opponent, current State Senator Len Suzio. Following his election in 2011, Suzio has consistently voted against the interests of Connecticut’s working families. Recently, Suzio authored an amendment to gut the program and raise taxes on thousands of working families across Connecticut.
The Earned Income Tax Credit, which is expected to contribute $108 million to working families and help fight poverty throughout the State. Modeled after the federal program, the tax credit provides a maximum of nearly $1,700 for poor, working-class families who earn below $21,500 per year. Instead of focusing on creating jobs and growing the economy Suzio sought to destroy a program that Ronald Reagan called, “the best antipoverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”
The AFL-CIO of CT is the state branch of the federal AFL-CIO, which represents 56 unions and over 12 million working men and women. The professions they represent include fire fighters, trades professionals, teachers, letter carriers and police officers.
“The decision to endorse Dante was crystal clear,” said AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Lori J. Pelletier. “Dante has always been willing to stand with workers, so we’re willing to stand with her.”
Pelletier added that during Suzio’s tenure in the State Senate, he has not been the champion to workers that Bartolomeo has proven to be.
“(Suzio’s) scorecard with the AFL-CIO is one of the lowest of any current State Senator,” she said.
The Building & Construction Trades Council represents trade unions throughout the State. Over the summer, Bartolomeo and the Council organized a two-day Construction Career Fair in Meriden in an effort to create new jobs. This initiative allowed residents to explore employment in construction-related fields by applying for an apprenticeship program with the Council’s trade organizations. The Fair has already enrolled 15 Meriden citizens into pre-employment preparation, and is expected to invite most or all of the 56 individuals who participated in the Fair’s follow-up skills assessment to join the program.
Ed Reilly, President of the Hartford-New Britain Building & Construction Trades Council, cited Bartolomeo’s honesty and integrity in deciding to endorse her candidacy.
“Dante’s actions support economic growth in her community, and she has always been interested in finding ways to put people back to work,” Reilly said. “Its leaders such as this that will help build a better Connecticut.”
Council 4 AFSCME represents approximately 35,000 Connecticut employees in state and local government, boards of education and the private sector. Council 4 is affiliated with the 1.6 million-member AFSCME International Union.
“Dante understands the challenges that working families face every day,” said Brian Anderson, Political/Legislative Affairs Coordinator for Council 4. “Dante will be a strong advocate for the vital public services that individuals and families in our community need.”