Malloy names ‘balanced’ team to run state Labor Department

In naming a union president and a former management negotiator to lead the Department of Labor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today he was signaling his intent to take a balanced approach to labor-management issues.

Malloy named Glenn Marshall, the president of Carpenters Local 210, as labor commissioner and Dennis Murphy, who oversaw labor relations for Stamford, as deputy commissioner.

Labor appointments

The governor with his labor team: Glenn Marshall (L) and Dennis Murphy (R).

“I want a labor-friendly Labor Department and a management friendly Labor Department,” Malloy said, introducing his choices at a press conference at the Legislative Office Building. “I want people to work together.”

Marshall, 52, of Milford is the president of Local 210 and the district manager of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the treasurer of its political action committee.

“Coming out of construction, I have an understanding that it’s very important to work labor and management together toward the same goals,” Marshall said. “When they prosper, we prosper. So that’s the same approach I’m going to take to this position.”

Glenn Marshall

Glenn Marshall

The Carpenters are regarded as sophisticated in their approach to labor relations, acting as an ally of construction contractors – both union and non-union — who follow labor laws.

By pressuring the state to crack down on contractors who misclassify workers as sub-contractors, a way to illegally avoid paying workers’ compensation and other costs, the union has helped legitimate contractors to make competitive bids on projects.

The Carpenters endorsed Malloy’s candidacy for governor, as did the Service Employees International Union, which was promoting one of its top executives for the job, Kurt Westby.

Westby issued a statement praising Marshall’s appointment.

“The appointment of Glenn Marshall to Labor Commissioner shows that Governor Malloy is committed to creating good jobs and a fair economy in Connecticut.  It is important that this position be held by someone who will stand up for the state’s working families, and I know from years of working with Glenn as a fellow labor leader that he has the expertise, experience and judgment needed to ensure that workers’ rights  are protected.”

Marshall has been a Carpenter’s member for 27 years and a union official for 17 years. Marshall’s selection was reported Monday by The Mirror.

Murphy, 54, of Bridgeport was the director of human resources for Stamford from 2004 to 2008, near the end of Malloy’s 14-year tenure as mayor. He was chief administrative office for Bridgeport from 1994 to 2002.

“I’m trying to send a message this is very balanced, even approach,” Malloy said. “Having said that, I want to be very clear. I think we need to step up enforcement at this agency. We have not devoted, in my opinion, sufficient resources to enforcement to make sure people are working within classifications and employers are playing by the rules.”

Since leaving his post in Stamford, Murphy has been a neutral labor arbitrator for several groups, including the American Arbitration Association.

Murphy was among the observers for the Malloy campaign who watched Bridgeport officials hand-count paper ballots overnight in the aftermath of Malloy’s close contest with Republican Tom Foley.