Connecticut Machinists Help Secure Election Day Bright Spot

Bucking a national trend of right-wing Election Day victories, Connecticut voters defeated a union-busting millionaire to re-elect progressive Dan Malloy as the state’s governor. IAM members helped ensure the win.

A robust, widely supported “Labor 2014” campaign, spearheaded by the state AFL-CIO, reached union members and their families in every corner of the state. The Machinists Union mobilized activists to contact members in their shops, distribute workplace flyers, put out two IAM mailings to all active and retired members, and talk with members through phone banks and labor-to-labor door-knocking.

“This campaign was a lot of work over a long time,” said IAM District 26 Directing Business Representative Everett Corey, who pounded the pavement on labor walks every weekend since Labor Day. “The Republican was a millionaire who tried to make himself look like a regular guy. That’s why workers talking with other workers is so important. We could cut through the hype and talk about who really stands with working people. That’s how Malloy won.”

Malloy, a Democrat, spent the last four years rebuilding a state economy wrecked after 16 years of Republican rule and the Great Recession. He inherited the largest state deficit in the nation, but balanced the budget without state employee layoffs through negotiations that state employee unions approved by majority vote.

Malloy also focused on revitalizing manufacturing, crafting a deal with United Technologies to revive $400 million in stranded tax credits in exchange for a company commitment to remain in the state for at least the next 20 years, while investing $4.5 billion in Pratt and Whitney Aerospace Systems, Sikorsky and other Connecticut subsidiaries.

“We had a great group of volunteers who never let up,” said Connecticut State Council of Machinists President John Harrity. “Help from the IAM Legislative and Political Department gave us the necessary resources to reach the members and Assistant Legislative and Political Director Bruce Olsson helped tremendously in coordinating our campaign. Combining all those elements, including support from the IAM Eastern Territory, made the difference.”

Besides the victories of Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, the IAM-endorsed state constitutional officers were all re-elected. All four IAM-endorsed Democratic members of the U.S. House in Connecticut also won their elections.