Laurie Kennington is president of Local 34 UNITE HERE which won a contract advancing current workers and opening jobs at Yale for New Haven residents. She is in the forefront of the community/labor alliance that helped elect union members to the Board of Alders. She joined the staff of the clerical and technical workers’ union after graduating from Yale College, succeeding longtime leader Laura Smith.
From its origins as a “pink-collar” union of secretaries—little sister to the blue-collar Local 35—Local 34 has grown into a labor powerhouse, representing 3,400 employees, many of them in Yale’s burgeoning medical research areas.
Kennington takes office at a time of remarkable labor peace after a long history of bitter contract disputes.