Sen. Berthel Opposes Senate Passage of Labor Bill Threatening Jobs, CT Middle Class Families

April 13, 2022

Today State Sen. Eric Berthel (R-Watertown) issued a statement in opposition of the Senate’s passage of S.B. 317, which extends taxpayer-funded unemployment benefits to employees that go on strike against their employer for at least two consecutive weeks, with as little as two employees initiating and sustaining the strike.


After hearing hours of compelling debate from Senator Berthel and Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats offered an amendment that moves the legislation’s effective date ahead by two years, to July 2024.


“The decision to not work is made by an employee, who consciously walks off the job. By definition, employees who choose this path are not eligible for unemployment benefits. This is written in the law. A displaced employee seeking unemployment benefits must be ready and available to work. Employees on strike are neither,” said Senator Berthel.


“Aside from this basic application of the law, this measure will result in yet another increase in the cost of living in Connecticut and continue to drive residents away. By the Dept. of Labor’s own admission, changes to our unemployment system like this will affect the solvency of the funding mechanism from the likely deluge of claims that will follow.


“I ask: When does the assault on middle class stop? This is a measure that further toxifies the employment climate for families during a precarious time in Connecticut. Unemployment funds should continue to be dispersed to qualifying workers in need,” he said.