Standing Up for the Middle Class

The battle between America's middle class and the corporate overclass is on display in New London, where LPNs and techs went on strike at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and were recklessly locked out by the corporation running L&M over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The workers got a huge outpouring of community support at a Patient Care Rally on Nov. 29. As Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano told rally participants, "It may be Black Friday, but it feels like Labor Day!"

AFSCME Local 1303-007 member Vernon Page was among the Council 4 members who came out to show solidarity for the hospital workers who are represented by AFT Locals 5049 and 5051.

Page works for Groton Utilities, a municipally owned and operated utility providing electric and water services to consumers in Southeastern Connecticut. His daughter is one of the locked out L&M workers.

Norwich city workers, represented by AFSCME Local 2422, have maintained a steady and supportive presence on the picket line.

"L&M Corporation has removed experienced union nurses and other health care professionals and has been replacing them with non-union employees who are doing identical work at seriously reduced wages and benefits," said Local 2422 President Angelo Callis. "Once this practice is allowed, it will spread like a weed. None of us are safe unless we are all safe."

Page and Callis have it right. What's happening in New London is part of a larger struggle; it's about standing up for the middle class in everything we do as a union.

L-R: Suzanne Haviland, Angelo Callis, Jose Perez, Sue Goldman and Barbara Simonetta (and Mirae Swan).

You can help by joining the picket line in New London and signing a community petition for L&M hospital workers.