5 Days, union victory, Calais nurses & more

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Make a plan to Vote!
  • Can You Volunteer to Help Us Get Out the Vote?
  • ACLU of Maine Workers Unionize
  • Susan Collins Goes Home After Failing to Pass Coronavirus Stimulus
  • Defending Our Democracy in the 2020 Election
  • Nurses Call for Firing of Calais Regional Hospital CEO
  • Sara Gideon Visits USW 900 Members in Rumford

Don't Forget to Vote!

Election Day is nearly upon us, so please make a plan to vote! Remember, the last day you can request an absentee ballot and vote early in person at your town office is this Friday Oct. 30.  After that you  will need to vote in person at your local polling place on election day. You can also drop off your completed absentee ballot through 8pm on Tuesday Nov. 3rd. Please see our Candidate Endorsement page for a list of all of the pro-labor candidates we have endorsed for the Maine Legislature and US House and Senate! Click here to find your local polling place!

Can You Help Us Get Out the Vote?

We are now in the final days before the election and we need all hands on deck to help get fellow union members out to vote. With so much at stake this election, we need to make sure all eligible voters cast their votes so we can elect pro-labor candidates to office. There are lots of ways you can help us get fellow union members to the polls between now and November 3rd.

  • Call union members to remind them to vote (from home)
  • Do door-to-door lit drops
  • Talk to your friends and family about voting

Please click here and fill out this form to let us know how you can help us get union members out to vote.

ACLU of Maine Workers Unionize

Workers at the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine have unanimously voted to form a union with MSEA-SEIU 1989. Management voluntarily recognized their union without the need for an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. The ACLU of Maine employees are the latest group of workers, in addition to the workers at Preble Street and Planned Parenthood in Maine, to form a union with MSEA SEIU 1989 in the past year.

“Extremely proud to announce that my fellow workers and I at the ACLU of Maine recently voted unanimously to unionize,” wrote Michael Kebede, a policy counsel for the ACLU of Maine, on Facebook. “Union strong! Union proud! Everybody, say it loud!”

Susan Collins Fails to Pass Coronavirus Relief Package, Goes Home to Campaign

Senator Susan Collins & Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell


After confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until Nov. 9, without passing critical Covid stimulus legislation to support working Mainers. Over the past several weeks, House leaders and the Trump administration have been negotiating over a relief bill to extend unemployment benefits, provide a lifeline to struggling businesses, increase and improve COVID testing and provide direct cash payments to Americans. House leaders are also pushing for a federal state and local aid package to help prevent layoffs of firefighters, state employees, emergency responders and other municipal workers. 

“By adjourning yesterday without approving another COVID-relief package, Senators Mitch McConnell and Susan Collins once again failed to help struggling workers and their families through this pandemic," said Dean Staffieri, President MSEA-SEIU 1989. "The failure of Senators McConnell and Collins to pass relief helping workers and funding essential services in our states and communities is inexcusable.”

Defending Our Democracy in the 2020 Election

With the election nearly upon us, it is crucial that we defend the democratic process regardless of whomever wins. Unfortunately, for the the first time in U.S. history a sitting president will not commit to accepting the results of the election. Depending on the outcome of this election, we may be required to peacefully, but forcefully resist efforts to thwart the will of the people.

We need to stand in solidarity to ensure that there is a peaceful transition of power because we cannot depend on our institutions to guarantee that our votes will determine the next President. That’s why the Maine AFL-CIO has passed a resolution resolving to protect and defend our democracy and our Constitution. Please take a moment to read it here.

Nurses Call for Firing of Calais Regional Hospital CEO

Calais nurses picketing in 2019.


Maine State Nurses Association members at Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) are demanding that the hospital’s Board of Directors remove and replace their current CEO, Rod Boula. The employees include registered nurses, medical laboratory scientists, and technical employees. 80 percent of the unionized CRH employees signed a “Petition of No Confidence” in CEO Boula and mailed it to each member of the hospital’s Board of Directors, the hospital’s Board of Trustees, and to each member of the Calais City Council. 

In the Petition of No Confidence, the employees outlined several of their complaints against CEO Boula including allowing the hospital to remain in bankruptcy for over one year without a plan to fix the hospital’s financial problems or emerge from its bankruptcy, misspending hospital money on labor-relations attorneys, eliminating services, tripling out-of-pocket employee health insurance expenses and putting patient safety at risk by forcing employees to work back-to-back shifts over multiple days.

The petition states that Boula’s decisions have devastated their working environment, causing most of their “senior and experienced colleagues to leave CRH for better opportunities” and creating “an all-time low for employee morale.”

Sara Gideon Visits USW 900 Members in Rumford 

Sara Gideon greets a worker outside the Rumford paper mill.


Last Friday, US Senate candidate Sara Gideon visited with USW Local 900 members at Nine Dragons Paper Mill in Rumford during their shift change. This was followed by a public supper held outside the USW 900 union hall. 

“Mainers deserve a senator who will stand up for workers rights, which is what I've done here in Maine and will continue to do in the Senate," she wrote on Facebook after the campaign stop.