Local 1303-025’s Mark Krauchick Honored for Worker Activism

From his perspective as a school custodian and local union leader, Mark Krauchick sees the economy growing more inequitable and the political invective directed against unionized workers more hostile.

It’s not his way to stay silent, which explains why Connecticut Working Families recently honored Krauchick, the president of AFSCME Local 1303-025 (Seymour Board of Education Custodians and Maintainers), as one of the Arthur Lee Perry Award for Worker Activism and Engagement at their annual banquet.

Krauchick was recognized for his participation in the campaign to close the carried interest tax loophole that lets Connecticut’s wealthiest hedge fund and private equity billionaires avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

“Researching and learning about this issue frustrated me,” Krauchick explained. “Our state would not even be in the mess we are today if these billionaires were taxed properly.”

Krauchick spoke at rallies (including one in front of a Greenwich hedge fund corporation), testified at the legislature in favor of a raised bill to close the carried interest loophole, sent letters to the editor to local newspapers and talked to reporters.

“I have always had [politically] conservative leanings. What helped get me involved was watching and listening how average union workers were being perceived as lazy, a burden to the state. Hearing constantly how overpaid and lucrative our benefits are. I’d had enough,” he stated.

Last year, Local 1303-025 members union joined with the other AFSCME bargaining units in Seymour – Local 1303-024, Public Works, and Local 1303-240, Town Hall – to pack a town hall meeting sponsored by Republican Reps. Themis Klarides and Nicole Klarides-Ditria, and Sen. Kevin Kelley.

More than 40 Council 4 members turned the Seymour High School into a sea of AFSCME green as they questioned and criticized the motives of the legislators in sponsoring dozens of proposed bills stripping state and municipal workers of their bargaining rights.

“I just could not stay silent after seeing the amount of anti-labor legislation going forward in the General Assembly,” Krauchick explained.

“Mark understands that our responsibilities as union members go well beyond the bargaining table,” added Council 4 Staff Representative Kelly Cashman. “There’s a vicious and well-funded attack on organized labor that requires us to be politically engaged at the grass roots level.”

Getting involved in legislative fights for union rights and fair taxation has motivated Krauchick to continue fighting on behalf of taxpaying workers.

“Too many of us are content to be silent,” he observed. “We can’t afford that. Now more than ever we need to come together as one voice and one force.” 

AFSCME members speak with Rep. Themis Klarides after a 2017 town hall meeting in Seymour. Klarides, the House minority leader, sponsored over 100 bills attacking labor rights in Connecticut last year.