John Harrity

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John Harrity is a Connecticut activist.

Winchester activism

At a press conference to protest job losses from China’s unfair trade advantages in front of the now-closed Winchester firearms plant in New Haven, Ct., CT. AFL-CIO President John Olsen, CT AFL-CIO Sec.-Treas. Lori Pelletier, Local 609 President John Reynolds, Craig Gauthier of Winchester Ad-Hoc Committee, GrowJobsCT Director John Harrity, former Winchester employees Kerry Dawson and Larry Edwards and John Bauman, president of the Organization for the Rights of American Workers.

Cheap imports from China carried a high price for 186 members at the iconic Winchester rifle facility after parent company US Repeating arms closed the New Haven plant on March 31, 2006.

Former Winchester workers spoke out at a Connecticut AFL-CIO rally in support of an unfair trade practices petition filed by the AFL-CIO to force the Bush Administration to take action against China’s violation of workers’ rights. Those violations, including slave-labor conditions and extensive use of child labor, give China an unfair competitive advantage and cost millions of North American jobs. Under the Trade Act of 1974, the U.S. has the ability to take action against China, but the Bush Administration has refused to do so.

“March 31 was a very sad day; 186 jobs, that’s 186 families,” Local 609 President and 40-year Winchester employee John Reynolds told the New Haven Register. “We are looking for our representatives in Washington D.C. to do something.”

U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) had recently introduced legislation to stem the tide of manufacturing jobs going overseas and has urged the Bush Administration to take tougher action.

"The closure of the Winchester plant was a blow to both the generations of workers who were the backbone of the plant as well as the surrounding community," DeLauro said. "Yet, the closure of this New Haven institution represents something much bigger — it is a symbol of the Bush Administration’s failed trade policies and its impact on families right here at home."[1]

Craig Gauthier day

When New Haven Mayor Toni Harp declared Feb. 23, 2014 as "Craig Gauthier day in the City of New Haven," the overflow crowd at the Peoples Center burst into cheers.

This 40th annual African American History Month event, also held in Hartford the night before, made history.

After leading a youth march to end violence and for jobs with Gauthier, the Mayor read her proclamation to this "courageous union and community leader in our State," noting his journey from Louisiana to New Haven, leading his union and in "the Communist Party USA, where he has campaigned for peace, to end police brutality, meet the needs of youth, to create living wag jobs in the community and for union rights."

Before presenting his life story, Gauthier received additional citations from Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, elected two days later to fill the state senate seat vacated by Harp; Ald. Dolores Colon, chair of the Black and Hispanic Caucus of the Board of Alders, John Harrity, president of District 26, State Council of Machinists, Jarvis Tyner, executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA, and a poem by Baub Bidon.[2]

People's World annual rally

Hew Haven activists celebrated on Sun May 5th, 2013 at the People's World annual rally with a video of the march, May Day Around the World, and a panel of leaders in immigrant worker organizing, jobs pipeline, organizing for environmentally sustainable peacetime jobs in Connecticut, and labor-community neighborhood organizing.

Panelists included John Harrity, director, Grow Jobs Connecticut; Scott Marks, New Haven Rising; Mary Reynolds, director of New Haven Works, and John Jairo Lugo, Unidad Latina en Accion.[3]

References