HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen issued a statement Monday calling for the end of a labor dispute between the management and staff of the New London-based Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.
Jepsen called on the hospital's management and AFT Connecticut, the staff's labor union, to commit to a negotiated resolution.
"As we approach the third full day of the worker lockout, I call upon L + M management and AFT to commit themselves to achieving a negotiated resolution," Jepsen said. "I welcome reports that talks with the federal mediator will reconvene tomorrow. I caution against any actions that may heighten tensions, impede productive discussions or threaten interference in the delivery of quality healthcare to the communities that rely on L + M."
Jepsen encouraged L + M to reconsider the decision to lock out workers after they expressed a willingness to return to caring for the hospital's patients.
"L + M need not wait for negotiations to start, or to bear fruit, before permitting workers to return to their jobs," Jepsen said. "My hope is that, through discussions, an amicable resolution can be achieved that both preserves good middle class jobs and guarantees the sustainable delivery of quality healthcare by L + M into the future."
In drawing attention to the issues implicated by the conflict, Jepsen recused himself from any legal or regulatory action that could arise from or relate to the dispute between L + M and its employees.
"Because the attorney general has a responsibility to represent the broader public interest, including by drawing attention to the important issues implicated by this dispute, I believe it is appropriate for me to express these views," Jepsen said.