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Labor Activists Go After Rural Democrat Over Scheduling Bill

March 19, 2018 By Staff
Labor Activists Go After Rural Democrat Over Scheduling Bill

Representative Boyd's message didn't seem to resonate with progressive organizers.

Just this month, the state legislature’s Committee on Children proposed significant restrictions on how employers schedule work shifts.

S.B. 321, which would have required employers to provide 24-hour notice of the work schedule to employees for any shift, died in committee by a narrow vote on March 15.

Reclaim Connecticut reached out to State Rep. Pat Boyd (D-Pomfret), the only Democrat to vote against the bill. Boyd called the bill “not ready for primetime,” citing “unintended consequences” for small businesses.

Boyd’s vote earned him a prompt visit from protesters, at a campaign fundraiser this last Saturday. Activists from the progressive advocacy group “Make the Road CT” out of Bridgeport, drove nearly two hours to Connecticut’s quiet corner to stand on a rural country road and protest with #BoycottBoyd signs.

Boyd came out of his fundraiser to explain his thought process, in a nearly 20-minute interaction posted on the group’s Facebook page. Boyd mainly agreed with the protesters, but stressed some factors that led to his “no” vote:

  • Wanting a nonpartisan study to provide data on the impact of the bill
  • Clear and more thought-out language
  • A discussion amongst business and labor advocates about the legislation’s potential implications
  • Greater time to discuss amendments

During Boyd’s conversation with activists, he pointed out that no state has yet enacted similar legislation at the state level, warning again of “unintended consequences” and calling for a non-partisan study to give legislators some underlying data.

When asked by Reclaim Connecticut, Boyd stressed:

“I don’t question that there have been people hurt by bad actors taking advantage of their workforce.”

The protesting group’s response to the representative taking time to share his thoughts can be found in the comments section of Facebook: “PEOPLE OVER DATA! PEOPLE ARE NOT DATA!”

Connecticut, as a whole, has one of the highest business costs in the country, according to Forbes. The state’s legacy of a toxic business climate has not only impaired the state’s economic health but has also made balancing the state’s persistent budget deficits a nearly impossible task.

While Connecticut remains near the bottom in economic and fiscal stability, the state’s business community finds itself again the target of burdensome regulation.

Boyd’s approach of calling for careful study and balanced consideration didn’t seem as popular among the rallying cries of the activist group. While he promised to continue working on the issue, he stood firmly behind his vote saying to Reclaim Connecticut:

“I view my role as a legislator to get all the available facts and make a decision off impartiality and data. We can’t make policy off passion. It needs to be based on reason.”