Politics

Union Slams Connecticut GOP Candidate On Factory Closure

Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley has criticized Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy over a local factory closing, and the United Steelworkers are pushing back against his claims.

“Gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley doubled down on his false assertion that workers, town officials and even Gov. Dan Malloy are responsible for Fusion Paperboard’s plant closure,” read a press release by the United Steelworkers (USW).

USW District 4 Director John Shinn declared,Tom Foley’s disingenuous claims that the workers and the governor are somehow to blame for Fusion Paperboard’s unfortunate decision to close its plant couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Shinn goes onto say, “The Governor has worked tirelessly with plant management since April to try to keep the plant operational, including offering state aid.”

Pointing to external factors as the reason for the plant closing, Shinn argued, “Unfortunately, our nation’s failed trade policies, which for 20 years have put the interests of billionaires and multinational corporations ahead of working people and small businesses, are to blame for the problems Fusion, and many other companies, have faced in recent years.”

Mark McNulty, a spokesman for the Foley campaign, told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “Tom is drawing attention to the anti-employee and employer policies of Dan Malloy which are making life more difficult for all residents of Connecticut, including those families affected by Fusion’s closing.”

McNulty added, “He will continue to do this through November until a new Governor is elected and Connecticut is pointed in the right direction – creating jobs again – with smarter policies.”

According to a letter obtained by TheDCNF, Democratic selectman Catherine Osten of Sprague, Conn., warned new regulations would hurt the plant.

She wrote, “The sewer and water rate increases that are being imposed in the Norwich area not only may, but will cost jobs in the Norwich – New London region. This region, already hard hit by the recession, cannot afford to lose any more jobs.”

The letter went on to say that the Fusion Paperboard’s plant along with Atlantic City Linen have been  “paying roughly 25% of the upgraded infrastructure, operating and maintenance expenses in the sewer and water divisions of Norwich Public Utilities.”

Osten added that in 2009 “the sewer treatment plant upgrade, estimated at that time to be $40 million” has now “grown to $120 million” which is a full 80 percent increase in mandatory upgrades.

“This is, simply put, a project that there is not enough available funding for to complete. The mandatory upgrade charge should be reviewed, and either eliminated or reduced, while other options are considered in both funding, and in project scope” the letter concluded.

Connecticut’s Republican gubernatorial primary takes place Tuesday. If Foley wins the nomination, recent polling suggests he is competitive with Malloy.

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