There’s labor strife brewing in New Haven.
But it’s not your typical employees-versus-management strife. No, it’s a conflict between union officials and their members over who to endorse for the upcoming Connecticut gubernatorial race, and it’s starting to get kind of ugly.
From the New Haven Independent:
“The head of a national teachers union praised a ‘dear friend’ and third-party candidate who was barred from addressing a labor convention – then made a case for why delegates should instead support a governor who has angered teachers.”
The duplicity came when Rhonda Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, addressed attendees this week at the Connecticut AFL-CIO union convention in New Haven, “where, according to script, delegates unanimously endorsed Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s re-election run,” according to the news site.
Weingarten encouraged attendees to endorse Malloy after union officials banned her “dear friend” Jonathan Pelto from addressing the convention, limiting the choices for union members to Malloy and Republican Tom Foley.
Pelto, an education blogger and former state legislator, is an outspoken critic of Malloy who entered the governor’s race under the “Education and Democracy Party.” He’s targeting rank-and-file union members who don’t like Malloy’s endorsement of Common Core, support for charter schools, and other reforms, the Independent reports.
“Pelto has played Lord Voldemort in the script of the convention the last two days: Convention organizers refused to let him speak and in some cases shuttered to say his name, portraying him as the evil third-party spoiler who could snatch the margin of victory away from Malloy in a tight rematch with Republican Tom Foley,” according to Tuesday’s Independent.