Labor History Association Annual Meeting May 19th
By Joan Cavanagh, Archivist/ Director
Calling all members and friends of the Greater New Haven Labor History Association! This year's annual conference and meeting will occur on Sunday, May 19th from 1:30-4:30pm at the Council/ Teachers Building, 267 Chapel Street in New Haven. The Augusta Lewis Troup Pass It On Awards will be presented to the HealthBridge District 1199/ SEIU strikers and to former State Senator Ed Gomes. A panel discussion about health care workers in the new economy will feature labor history professors Troy Rondinone and Virginia Metaxas and long time labor movement activist Steve Thornton. The event will include music by LHA's own troubadour Frank Panzarella, with refreshments and time for socializing.
District 1199/ SEIU workers successfully challenged the HealthBridge nursing homes' CEO Daniel Straus, who stripped 700 workers of their pension and health insurance, and slashed other benefits. The CNAs, housekeepers, dietary and maintenance employees went on strike in July 2012 rather than accept the illegal cuts. They returned to work in March of 2013 after an administrative judge ordered HealthBridge to take them back with all benefits intact.
Troup Honoree Gomes was an employee and union activist at Bridgeport's Carpenter Steel, an International Representative of District 1 for the United Steelworkers of America, a City Council member in Bridgeport, and a state senator who served on the Labor and Public Employees Committee and as co-chair of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Collective Bargaining.
Professor Rondinone, LHA Board member and Recording Secretary and Southern Connecticut State University's resident labor historian, will moderate the panel discussion. Mr. Thornton, a Hartford resident who has been active in the labor movement for 35 years, will discuss the community/ labor coalition that successfully fought the privatization of Waterbury Hospital. Professor Metaxas, the author of Occupational Therapy: the First 30 Years and Poor Mothers and Babies: a Social History of Childbirth and Child Care Hospitals in Nineteenth-Century New York City, as well as numerous journal articles on various subjects, will provide historical background on health care workers.
The event is free to current members, with a suggested donation of $10 or whatever you can afford or wish to donate to all others.