SHELTON/STRATFORD, Conn. – After Altice USA announced plans to lay off nearly 600 workers in Connecticut, the state legislative delegations from Shelton and Stratford asked the state Department of Labor to step in and offer assistance.
“Unfortunately stories like this are becoming more and more common,” said Perillo. “We need to make certain that we do everything on our end to help these Shelton and Stratford residents through this tough time, and make sure they land on their feet in the coming months.”
In addition to Perillo, the request came from Reps. Ben McGorty, (R-122), Laura Hoydick (R-120) and Joe Gresko (D-121) and Sens. Kevin Kelly (R-21) and Ed Gomes (D-23).
They asked the Labor Department to initiate Connecticut’s Rapid Response Team to work with Altice USA to assist the 591 employees who will be laid off after an announcement Wednesday that Optimum is closing its operations in both towns.
“This is terrible news for a lot of Stratford and Shelton residents and their families, and it is important that we make every effort to help these displaced workers with all state resources available,” said Hoydick. “We need to take action through the Rapid Response Team, but also ensure that these folks find employment in the aftermath.”
Altice's announcement about the impending layoffs noted that technology upgrades were resulting in fewer customer calls to the centers.
In their letter to Labor Commissioner Scott Jackson, the bipartisan group of legislators said that not all of the displaced workers would find employment within the company after their four weeks of severance pay, and the asked the Labor Department to lean forward helping these workers find new jobs as soon as possible.
“My heart goes out to these hard-working local residents who now suddenly find themselves unemployed,” said McGorty. “I am hopeful that we can mobilize state resources to bring relief to all of the impacted employees.”
Gresko also called for all available resources to help those affected. “Hopefully, during the next three months the Department of Labor can assist people while they’re still employed to help them find new jobs,” he said.
“This news is devastating for our communities,” said Kelly. “We are all committed to working together to help all the employees losing their jobs access the resources they need to find work and provide for their families. Clearly, a layoff of this magnitude will impact the already challenging situations many of our families are facing. That’s why it’s so important that we work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that as much help as possible can be directed to our community."
Gomes also called on the Department of Labor to step up. “Training these workers for new jobs in our economy must be a priority.”