Day of Action
8:56 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Local Fast Food Workers Campaign for Higher Wages

Fast food workers picketed while on strike last summer at State House Square in Hartford.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Workers in the fast food industry in Hartford and New Haven are taking part in a nationwide day of action today, campaigning for higher wages.

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Hospital Strike
8:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Makes "Final Offer" to Striking Workers

State Senate President Donald Williams joined striking workers at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital last week.
Credit Senate Democrats

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital has written to its workers detailing what it's called its last, best and final offer.

It's the latest move in a labor dispute that has seen a four-day strike by about 800 nurses and technicians, followed by a still-ongoing lockout.

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Hospital Strike
7:19 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Lawrence and Memorial Workers Locked Out; More Talks Due This Week

Picketing workers outside Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Unions and management at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital are scheduled to meet at the negotiating table again this week, as nurses and technicians remain locked out of their jobs at the New London facility.

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8:26 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Nurses and Technicians Strike at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London

State Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn) joined striking workers from the hospital at the picket line on Wednesday.
Credit Sen. Donald E. Williams, Jr.

Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital were on strike Wednesday morning, after contract talks broke down Tuesday.

The unions, representing some 800 workers, called the walk-out after five hours of talks ended in a stalemate. It's the first major strike at a hospital in the state in almost 30 years. The unions said the biggest issues are job security and patient care.

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8:29 am
Fri November 15, 2013

China Eases One-Child Policy, Ends Labor Camp System

Children participate in a drawing contest on May 13 celebrating international children's day in Qingdao, China.
Wu Hong EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 11:47 am

China announced Friday that it is loosening its decades-old one-child policy, and abolishing its system of "re-education through labor" camps.

In order to have a second child, one parent would have to be an only child under the new rules. Previously, both parents had to be only children in order to have a second child.

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A Real Living Wage
8:52 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Episode 487: The Trouble With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew supports herself and her son in New York City on $23,000 a year. According to the government, she does not live in poverty.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:48 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

According to the government, there are 46.5 million Americans who live below the poverty line. In other words, that's how many people are officially poor. But pretty much everyone who studies poverty agrees: The way we arrive at this figure is completely wrong.

On today's show, we figure out how we got here, why still measure poverty in a way that so many people agree is wrong, and how could we do it better.

For more, see our stories:

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:46 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Tipping the Scales Away From Tipping

Billy Grant, chef-owner of Grant's Restaurant and Restaurant in West Hartford, and Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury
Chion Wolf

You may eat out a lot, but do you really have tipping figured out?

Or do you stress about whether you left the right amount?

Would you be happier with an 18 percent service charge added on and no obligation to tip?

These are the shifting restaurant rules we'll talk about today.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:50 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The Nose: Rodeo Clowns, Why Americans Want to Drive Less and Abolish Tipping

Chion Wolf

This week a rodeo clown made news when he wore an Obama mask for a routine that straddled the line between permissible lampooning of a president and unsettling evocations of a lone black man being chased and menaced while a white crowd cheered and jeered. How do we resolve those two strains at the moment? There's our belief in loud, lusty rebuke to people in power and our sense that some depictions of black and white kick historical tripwires and throw us back to 1861.

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Where We Live
12:03 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

What's Work Worth?

Cool Insights on Flickr Creative Commons

It’s the set-up for countless plots in tv and the cinema: The low-wage worker accidentally gets his hands on the big boss’ paycheck and is flabbergasted by the numbers he sees.

Outside of Hollywood, here’s the reality: Workers on Wall Street earned an average bonus of $121,900 last year while the per capita average income was $42,693.

But we knew that, right, that people who work in the financial industry in the “money-making” part of our economy are going to make more than, say, schoolteachers.

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Paid Sick Leave
10:00 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Employers Miss Out On Sick Leave Reforms

Harriet Jones

When Connecticut passed a law two years ago that required employers to provide paid sick leave it was the first state in the nation to do so. And so putting that law into practice has been something of an experiment. This year, businesses asked for some changes to make the law easier to comply with. But as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, they didn't get them.



When you hear the sound of sirens in one of Eastern Connecticut's towns, it's a fair bet that the vehicle involved belongs to American Ambulance Service, based in Norwich.


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4:47 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

School Governance Councils Say They're Shut Out

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

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Food Regulation
10:57 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Subway, Labor Officials Collaborate to Tackle Violations

Connecticut based fast food giant Subway is cooperating with regulators in an effort to end labor law violations among its thousands of franchise outlets. 


Milford-based sandwich chain Subway has the highest number of restaurants in the world, surpassing even McDonalds. But in an organization that big, controlling what happens in each independent business can be difficult.


"We noticed a pattern of violations among Subway franchises."


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Where We Live
10:46 am
Tue December 20, 2011

The Connecticut Economy

The Connecticut Economy is a quarterly review put out by the University of Connecticut that analyzes - well - the state’s economy. The latest edition was recently released and includes an analysis of Connecticut’s quality of life.

One major factor in any economic study is the unemployment rate and yesterday, the Connecticut Department of Labor released new statistics showing a slight drop to 8.4% in what the department calls a plateauing of the unemployment rate.

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Hartford's Market
3:59 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

The Market At Hartford 21? Still Closed.

Public Defenders
12:37 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Budget Cuts Threaten Public Defenders


In the wake of the failed labor concessions agreement between Governor Dannel Malloy and state labor unions, state agencies are feeling the crunch. The Office of the Chief public defender has to cut about 7.5 percent of their overall budget, which some believe will hinder the states poorest from getting proper legal counsel, and will make it difficult for public defenders to honor their constitutional obligations.

We are joined by Mike Lawlor, undersecretary for criminal justice planning.

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9:13 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Preservation Through Deconstruction

Harriet Jones

Green construction is a pretty familiar concept these days. But did you also know there’s a green way to remove a building? Instead of demolition, it’s called deconstruction, and one small Connecticut business hopes to grow it into an industry. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Back in the 1930s, the town of Hamden built itself a brand-new firehouse… some seven decades later, it’s no longer a firehouse, but it’s still here on Putnam Avenue, and I’m visiting its present owner, Frank Poole.

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2:48 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

As the Clock Ticks, Malloy, Unions Inch Closer Together

via WikiMedia Commons

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took a small step Wednesday toward renewed talks about concessions with unionized state employees when he said he likely would send an aide to inquire how labor leaders hope to revise their contract amendment ratification rules.

But the governor also warned that without clear direction first from labor about how a difficult ratification process might be reformed, there is little for the two sides to talk about. Nearly 60 percent of participating union members voted in favor of concessions last month, but ratification still failed.

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State Budget
1:41 pm
Sat July 2, 2011

Layoffs Loom After Conn. Workers' 'No' Vote


JEFF COHEN: And I'm Jeff Cohen in Hartford, where the budget season began with what seemed like a safe bet. Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy said he and labor leaders would find a way to save $2 billion over two years, and the Democratic legislature said okay. Eventually, the governor and the state's unions came to an agreement that scaled back some benefits and included a four-year pledge of no layoffs.

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Connecticut Legislature
3:42 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Malloy Picks Up Powers, and the Pressure on the Unions Builds

Chion Wolf

At the end of a slightly confusing night, the state legislature gave Gov. Dannel P. Malloy some of the added emergency budget-cutting authority he wanted but made him unhappy by spurning his request to cut aid to cities and towns. 

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3:18 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Malloy Sends up a Trial Balloon on Changing the Bargaining Laws

U.S. Navy via WikiMedia Commons

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today he will explore legislative options to curtail what he called state government's unsustainable, long-term health and pension costs, but he refused to say if he will seek a curb on collective-bargaining rights for state employees.

"We attempted to do that through negotiation. That has failed," Malloy said. "The people of Connecticut still need systemic change and still need to have a sustainable relationship with their employee base, which is a way of saying there is more than one way to get that done."

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Balancing Connecticut's Budgt
4:44 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Towns and Cities Fear Collapse of Budget Deal

It is looking increasingly likely that an all-important budget deal between Governor Dannel Malloy and state union leaders will fail. Should that happen, the governor will have to find more than a billion dollars to balance the state's budget. One union has already rejected the labor savings and concessions deal. It's possible another will do the same. And that would mean that the state would suddenly have to find $1.6 billion in savings over the next two years. Malloy has said he doesn't plan to raise taxes to get there.

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Labor Concessions
2:50 pm
Fri May 13, 2011


Negotiators for state employee unions and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tentatively agreed today on a package of concessions and other labor savings that will help Malloy balance the $40.1 billion biennial budget without 4,700 announced layoffs.

The deal, which is subject to ratification by nearly 45,000 employees in 15 unions, comes after weeks of intensifying negotiations and days after the first 186 of 4,472 layoff notices went out.

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5:42 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Malloy Avoids Black Friday, Delays Layoffs

Library of Congress

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has delayed the issuance of mass layoff notices planned for Friday, but a spokesman said today the change does not necessarily mean the administration is close to a deal for concessions and other labor savings.

"It's not a sign of a huge breakthrough. If it helps bring one, that would be welcome," said Roy Occhiogrosso, senior adviser to the governor.

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Where We Live
10:44 am
Wed April 27, 2011

The Art Of Negotiation

Chion Wolf

The governor negotiated a budget deal with democratic leaders, although he hadn’t finished negotiating labor concessions with state unions.

Meanwhile, negotiations have broken off in conflicts between the Israelis and Palestinians, and between Thailand and Cambodia - and former President Jimmy Carter, who’s negotiated many a deal, is talking to North Korea.

Maybe he needs to step in to the NFL labor dispute, where negotiations broke off a while back, and the future of the league seems to be in the hands of a judge.

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Where We Live
10:46 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Labor, After the Fire

Library of Congress

On Friday’s show Governor Dannel Malloy took a hard line with state labor unions – if they don’t reach an agreement on concessions, massive layoffs are on the table.

Governor Malloy said about the possibility of layoffs: “If it’s the only option, it’s the only option to pursue.” Today we’ll get reaction from an official from the state’s employee unions.

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Tool Manufacturing
12:36 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Milford Manufacturer Bucks The Trend

Harriet Jones

Manufacturing used to be a mainstay of employment in Connecticut. Competition from lower-cost states and overseas production has decimated the industry. But small manufacturers persist in the state and are finding ways to survive. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited one shop in Milford for our latest small business profile.

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3:06 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

New Haven Mayor Says Change To Pension Plans Is Urgently Needed

Diane Orson

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano says changes to city pension plans are urgently needed to keep from bankrupting the funds.  

He says New Haven is facing a growing budget gap.

"Over four years the next year this is a total budget gap of $309 million. The largest single expenditure item contributing to that gap is the increasing city contribution to our two pension plans."

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Where We Live
11:40 am
Tue January 25, 2011

The State of American Unions

Chion Wolf

New statistics show that union membership in America has slipped again…reaching its lowest rate in more than 70 years. 

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