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Demonstrators arrested in Hartford rallying for livable wages for long-term care workers

Police say the demonstrators entered the building and sat down. Everyone involved was charged with trespassing in the first degree.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Editor's Note: The video above has dated information about COVID-19 related union worker deaths.

Several demonstrators were arrested during a protest outside the offices of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Policy & Management, and Developmental Services Thursday afternoon. 

About 20 of the demonstrators were detained after entering the offices and sitting down. Each person was charged with criminal trespass in the first degree and was released on bond. They are scheduled to be arraigned on April 12, 2021. 

The SEIU 1199 Union represents long-term care workers and leaders. They were protesting Connecticut to provide funding to pay for changes that will allow workers to have living wages, benefits, and the capacity to retire. 

The Union added that some 22 of its members have died due to COVID-19 complications over the past year. 

“Do you know what’s in the budget for nursing home workers? Do you know what’s in the budget for home care workers? Do you know what’s in the budget for group home workers? Nothing. There’s nothing for you in the budget,” said Union President Rob Baril. “Long-term care workers should not have to work late into their 70s to pay their bills. Everyone deserves to have a pension so we can retire with dignity and respect. We’re just fighting for basic human rights.”

Connecticut State Police say none of the demonstrators or officers were injured in the demonstration and the demonstration was peaceful.

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