Correction Officer Steve Curran gave Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley credit for coming to speak to the labor union convention Monday, but he thought it was ridiculous that Foley couldn’t remember what union he belonged to when he worked at a cannery in his teens.
“Nobody forgets what local they belong to,” Curran said.
But Foley said he couldn’t remember.
“You know I actually can’t remember what union it was, but it was when I was working at a can plant in Denver, Colorado in the 1960s,” Foley said.
According to biography on Foley’s campaign website, Foley “took a year off at seventeen to work and travel around the country. He worked a construction job and then worked on an assembly line at a can factory where he was member of the union.“
Foley, who admitted in his opening remarks, that a union convention was an “odd” place for a Republican to be talked about the common ground he shares with the unions.
He said they both believe in holding onto and creating jobs. However, he seemed to pivoted almost immediately to discussing the high cost of government on employers and an “unpredictable legislature.”
He said it’s hard for business to invest in the state when the “statutory landscape is so difficult to predict.”
“We frankly need to do more with less,” Foley said.
He talked about reducing spending, while maintaining services.
When talking about the unions, Foley called them a “formidable” force in Connecticut economy. He said he would try to bring the unions to the table and would even offer them incentive pay.
However, when it comes to benefits that’s where the unions will have to decide whether they want to stay employed and take home a salary or increase their benefits.
“There’s only a certain amount of money that the government has to spend. They can choose to spend it on benefits or payroll. If the choice is benefits then there are going to be fewer state workers,” Foley said. “That really would be up to their representatives to negotiate and make that choice.”
Foley understands he’s not likely to receive the AFL-CIO’s endorsement, however, he said it’s important to keep the lines of communication open since he will be dealing with the unions when he’s elected governor.
Dan Malloy, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, spoke earlier in the day to the union’s about how important it is to elect a Democrat to the governor’s office.
Click here to read more about what he had to say about labor and its role in a Malloy administration.