Leaders of the unions representing corrections officers (COs) in Connecticut are trying to repel an effort by a Massachusetts-based, rival union that is currently distributing “blue cards” in an effort to get members to switch unions. An internal memo from AFSME-Council 4, obtained by The Hanging Shad reads, “NCEU [rival union] went to the press to let them know that they have passed out cards in Enfield and Cheshire already with plans to return to Enfield tomorrow. In response, based on discussion with everyone we were able to talk with, we decided to put out a short statement…”
The subsequent statement calls the rival union, “undemocratic” and an “opportunistic business” that is trying to “intimidate” and “confuse” the rank and file.
AFSME-Council 4 has previously reminded it members that a switch would be a devastating blow to the union’s political clout in the state legislature. Currently, AFSME provides donations, volunteers and other support to mostly Democratic candidates in the state legislature. Council-4’s internal emails also warn that changing to the raider union would highlight the fact that 800 of its members live in Massachusetts (Connecticut has no residency laws for COs. Massachusetts does).
The National Correctional Employees Union (NCEU) is looking to gain support for a decertification vote on AFSME. They are passing out the “blue cards” which can be filled out by the corrections workers and mailed back. A sufficient number of respondents can mean a decertification vote.