Union Poised For Protest, Plus: The Tax Man

Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Bridgeport City Hall should be a hoot. That’s when members of the Service Employees International Union, whose local leadership supported State Rep. Chris Caruso in his tight mayoral primary loss to Bill Finch in September, plan to protest Finch’s proposed budget that blowtorches library and healthcare workers jobs.

And by coincidence, or not, the Bridgeport City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee will be meeting to review the Labor Relations budget in the Wheeler Room of city hall at 6:30.

SEIU leaders that supported Caruso are not suffering from buyer’s remorse, especially with the difficulty Finch is experiencing five months into his mayoralty. Unionized workers are getting their powder ready for Finch who was in Washington on Monday joining a coalition of U.S. mayors calling for stronger laws to close loopholes that allow guns to get in the wrong hands.

Finch probably felt right at home in DC articulating gun-control rhetoric. The new sheriff in town is much more comfortable talking bazooka legislation than budget laceration. Perhaps, also, it wasn’t such a bad idea for Bird Man to get out of town for a few days. Maybe hanging out with professional politicians’ polished language might rub off on his honor, prone lately to puke up the first things that come to mind. Bird dropping examples:

. “Trumbull is a bucolic town with no problems.”
. “These are non-essential jobs.”
. “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

Egad. Feel free to remind me what I forgot.

. “I’ll cut your taxes $600.”

People ask me — has Finch always been this lost? No. He’s smart, capable and decent, a good father to his boys. But the attention deficit seems to be the controlling factor. I’m still holding out hope he finds his sweet stroke.

I spoke on Monday to Democratic Vice Chair Dottie Guman, the Mother Goose of the local party, responsible for engineering Finch’s political ascension. Mother Goose and her pupil haven’t gotten along well the past six months. They’ve not spoken in a while. She dared to criticize Finch to his face about some of his goofy decisions, and was chastised for it. “I’m the mayor. You can’t go against the mayor!”

You’re the mayor? Why don’t you start acting like one?

That’s probably too much to ask.

Yikes! Almost forgot. Don’t forget to file today. Gotta keep the Tax Man happy. I know the Tax Man all too well. I don’t mess with the Tax Man.



  1. Is this the same union that “negotiated” huge increases in wages and other employment costs so much so that actual employment went down as well as jobs being relocated out of Bridgeport?

  2. Thanks Wondering for reminding me that there is such a thing as “Steel Point”. Whatever happened to it?
    And as for the union, it should all be called in and told that it must re-negotiate its contract; that the tax- payers can no longer play Santa Claus; that the City is on the verge of imploding and going bankrupt; and that the nation is in a recession. It’s time for the Union to tell it employees that Christmas is past.

  3. John it was a union thaat wanted a labor peace agreement to be part of any steel point occupancies relating to Hotels or Restaurants. What it said was that any hotel chain that leased the hotel or any restaurant that leased space would be forced to negotiate with the union before they opened.
    Do you know of any Hotel Chain that would have invested millions of dollars in leasing a hotel or restaurant with that caviat attached. I dont!

  4. Would someone update me on the Black Rock Art Center talks. I see they have a “Vodoo Festival” going on there this month, people running around with grass skirts, bones in their nose and don’t forget the pins, just the sort of “culture” Bpt. needs. I just wish we could get that building back on the tax sheet, I am offended by the $ 1.00 rent we charge Chelli et. all. I have a better idea, lets all make some politican dolls and push a few pins in.

  5. It’s interesting that Moonbeam is going to hold a bitch session Saturday morning so that the people will have an opportunity to express their concerns about his administration so far. Honestly, I’d suggest that he move it to the arena, but that’s probably too small to hold all of the people that will have a complaint.

  6. Black Rockin’

    Would that fall under Voodoo Economics?


    I believe you spelled Steel Point wrong. It’s Steal Point.

    A Master Plan should be devloped for Steal Point divided into four sections. It should be re-bid with each proposal for each qaudrant going to the highest bidder for this project according to the Master Plan. This project has been a circle jerk with no pivot person for too long.

  7. I nominate Tom Kelly for the new Economic Development Director. He seems to have all of the answers. And if Steel (as in sharp, hardened sickle) Point doesn’t work then we will draw and quarter him! LOL!
    Black Rockin’ what do you have against grass skirts? Maybe they can rent my sickle to cut down more grass. We should have skirt length grass over on Steel Point any day now that the weather has turned warm.
    Mr. Kelly, maybe we can plant switch grass on Steel Point and become the largest urban manufacturer of switch grass east of the Mississippi. How’s that for a switch?

  8. Yes, wondering and yahooy – that was the same union that wanted to impose themselves on the hotels/restaurants that would be opening in the future at Steel Point. Unions are not giving any bonus points to anyone these days and there demands on employers are pretty unreasonable in some cases. Why any union would throw its support to Caruso who never even had a real job is beyond me.

  9. The Grin or is it Green Reaper

    I don’t know if there is enough ink to draw me. And don’t try to pen me in. Maybe you could use your Honey Sickle to pollinate some Moonbeams and Marigolds on Steel Point to replace the tumbleweeds.

    At least you didn’t call me be “Bi-Solar”.

  10. I just wanted to apologize for the ‘library’ comment yesterday. You all were right and I probably should have scoped the scene out before judging. I think it may also have to do with the generation I have grown up in. I’m fairly young and unfortunately not very reliant upon this resource due to mainly the internet.

    Again, my apologies.

    Also…Voodo thing. I agree…not something very appealing (at least to me)

    And…Should our mayor be using slang in a newspaper characterizing all families in Bridgeport making under $50,000 part of the ‘hood’? I hope they come out with a correction saying that they pulled that out of context. Again, another hit taken by the city….

  11. Unbelievable – In George Bush’s anti labor America, where CEO’s are making obscenely high salaries, utility and oil company profits are at record levels and the earnings gap between an ever shrinking middle class and the wealthy is widening to levels not seen since the Gilded Age of robber barons in the 19th century, some of you choose to blame the unions for all of our problems. Unbelievable, and the fact that most of you (certainly not all) are probably Democrats makes this even more pathetic. Folks, we are supposed to be the party of the working people. Organized labor is supposed to be one of our core constituancies.

    Now, I’m not going to waste my time or yours, debating the value of unions to the American people. If you don’t understand that by now you probably never will and you might as well join the Republican Party and help the rich grow richer while the rest of us sink into poverty. I can take this stuff from conservative Republicans, but when it comes from Democrats it’s just a little too much.

    OK – I know this is a little stronger than what I usually post. But I’m an old time liberal, pro labor Democrat and that’s just the way it is. Nothing personal intended.

  12. ngk0325 – Thanks. Apology accepted. Please stop by the library sometime. You might find there are some internet resources that only the library and a library card can provide you. Believe me, the Bpt Library is much more than old books and old librarians – although the library has those too.

  13. JBR

    A couple of years ago the “union” decided that a strike against Sikorsky was necessary. That strike lasted a very long time resulting in the “union” walking away with no gains at all for the membership. The union members lost wages that could never be recovered. The union actually hurt the members in this regard.

    The smoke stack industry that once occupied great prominence in Bridgeport disappeared one by one each citing outrageous union demands skyrocketing costs at the same time the democratic leadership began their spend and tax mantra.

    Yes, JBR, I blame the unions as well as the incompetent municipal leadership for the demise of prosperity in our town.

  14. yahooy – True, unions don’t win every negotiation or strike. But what would have those workers been earning if they had never had a union? In the most basic terms, unions are a check against the excesses of corporate greed. Without them companies will do what they are designed to do – maximize profits, largely at the expense of their labor force. It’s all about checks and balances.

  15. JBR

    I am not interested in getting into a debate which would cite today’s diminished contributions of unions since the time when unions ensured fair wages, job security and a safe work place.

    You say ” …what would the workers been earning if there were no unions?”. What are the workers at Bridgeport Brass and Remington Arms earning in Bridgeport. It cannot be refuted that the new owners of Bodine Corporation dashed from Bridgeport due to outrageous union demands.

    I will never understand how I can be forced to pay double the rate of pay for a union member when I could pay less for an equally skilled non-union laborer.

    The unions that represent certain employees of this city are stead fast in requiring the city to incur unreasonable cost by act of contract. They make no concessions however reasonable despite the fact that non-union employees will lose their jobs in order that union members may maintain their jobs. Unions aren’t pro labor, they are pro unions.

  16. OK – Lets race to the bottom and pay workers nothing, take away their health benefits and while we are at it let’s bring back child labor – that will really bring down labor costs. Of course we then become a third world country with no middle class.
    Enough on this subject. Let’s move on.

  17. Are you aware that non-union employees of the city earn a wage appropriate to their responsibilities, have access to health benefits, work in safe surroundings, have adequate paid vacation, sick time, and holidays. Also, there are no non-union city employees under the age of 16. Nothing personal. I appreciate the extent to which union men and women struggle to support the concept of unionization. In reality and due to more effective and active involvement by the federal and state governments regarding wages, OSHA, pension guarantees and rules affective employer/employee relations, unions have become less necessary. I have no doubt of the enormous contributions made when it was necessary for labor to organize against arbitrary and capricious employers. Today, the cost associated with an organized work force is not necessary.

  18. Speaking against unions has never been a popular thing to do. Nonetheless, I want to be perfectly clear and say this about that….I hope the unions kick Finch’s ass tonight.

  19. yahooy – Thanks to your last post we have found common ground.

    On another matter –

    In a small victory for safety and sanity, last night the Bpt. Police Commission voted 6 – 1 not to remove the no parking signs from around Ellsworth Field. Of course, enforcement may still be an issue, but last night’s vote was a positive step.

    Thanks go out to the Black Rock Community Council, the Black Rock Little League, the Cove Condo Assosiation, Bob Keeley, Rob Russo and Commissioners Terry Brown and Danny Roach for their help on this.

  20. “John from Black Rock // Apr 16, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Without them (UNIONS) companies will do what they are designed to do – maximize profits…”

    Amazing, John, utterly amazing!!

  21. aboost – If you are going to quote me, please do so accurately. You left off the part about companies exploiting workers in orderto maximise their profits

  22. There is a place for unions and haing been a union worker for 25 years and then working for a non union fortune 500 company. I found that I made more money and was paid for my performance with the fortun 500 company. When I was with the union everybody was paid the same at raise time. So the slackers and goof offs received the same compensation as the good workers. That being said there is a place for unions today but are they the be all that they were years ago. i dont think so. On many job sites without the union and their safety watches a lot more workers would be getting hurt or killed. So as you can see I am torn on this subject. I am not sure the liberal democrats really take care of the workers. I believe that CEO salaries rose under Clinton also and we also started NAFT which was under the dems and took a lot of jobs out of the country.


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