Big Win in Waterville!

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Waterville Firefighters (IAFF 1608) score victory for improved public safety
  • Save the Date: Labor Racial Justice Workshop, March 22
  • 2020 Labor Notes Conference Registration Now Open!
  • Say NO to a privatizer as the Postmaster General
  • An Open Call for Labor Art!
  • 90 Years Ago a Mob Attacked Black Union Organizers at Togus

Waterville Council Overrides Isgro’s Veto oF Ambulance Purchases

IAFF Local 1608 & the Professional Firefighters of Maine


The Waterville City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday night to override the Mayor’s veto of a measure to approve the purchase of two used ambulances in order to improve the city’s emergency response service. Members of the Waterville Professional Firefighters (IAFF Local 1608) organized and lobbied hard for the purchases and were joined by members of the Central Maine Labor Council, AFL-CIO at the last two council meetings.

“Waterville Fire Fighters look forward to working with Delta Ambulance to ensure that emergency responders arrive on the scene promptly when citizens of Waterville have an emergency," said Ryan Cote, President of the Waterville Professional Firefighters. "Looking out for what’s best for our city residents has always been our core mission and we will continue to advocate for a reliable, state of the art emergency response system that supports the health and safety of the community.”

Save the Date: Race & Labor Workshop, March 22

AFSCME members rally on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis in February, 2018.


Maine unions will be holding a daylong program of learning, sharing and discussing racial justice issues and the labor movement on Sunday March 22 in the Portland area. Both union leaders and rank and file members are invited to the event, which is sponsored by the Maine AFL-CIO, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 and the Maine Education Association. For more information visit www.maineaflcio.org/race-labor or call Cynthia: 207-491-9928. Sign up here to receive updates about the event.  

2020 Labor Notes Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2020 Labor Notes Conference, which is known as “the biggest gathering out there of grassroots union activists, worker center leaders, and all-around troublemakers.”  To register, click here.  A delegation from Maine will be attending!

WHEN: Friday, April 17, 9 a.m. - Sunday, April 19, 3 p.m.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency O’Hare at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport 

The three-day event will feature more than 200 meetings and workshops on developing organizing tactics, beating apathy, running for local union office, winning contract campaigns, reviving the strike and more. If you sign up by February 28th the registration fee is $115 ($45 off the regular price). Scholarships are also available. Let us know if you are interested.

Say NO to a privatizer as the Postmaster General

Even though the US Postal Service is the most popular federal agency, the Trump administration announced in June of last year that it intended to privatize it. With Postmaster General Megan Brennan stepping down as Postmaster General in January 2020, a new postmaster could attempt to carry out those plans to sell off this critical service to profit-seeking corporations Please sign this petition urging the Postal Service Board of Governors to to appoint a Postmaster General who is committing to preserving the Postal Service. 

An Open Call for Labor Art!

If you’ve attended our Labor Summer Institute or any of the Maine AFL-CIO conventions, you know we love to incorporate labor art, poetry, theater and music into our programming. As we plan our future events we are putting out a call for labor-related paintings, photographs, murals, poetry, plays or other art that we can display or incorporate. We would especially love to know about union members who produce art, music and poetry for future events. Please email [email protected] if you can help or have ideas!

90 Years Ago a Mob Attacked Black Union Organizers at Togus

Too often we forget that workers of color havehistorically faced extremely violent repression for standing up for their rights. One story you won’t find in Maine history books is when a mob attacked two black men while they were attempting to organize a branch of the American Negro Labor Congress at Togus Augusta on November 29, 1929.

Too often we forget that workers of color have historically faced extremely violent repression for standing up for their rights. One story you won’t find in Maine history books is when a mob attacked two black men while they were attempting to organize a branch of the American Negro Labor Congress at Togus Augusta on November 29, 1929.

According to the Daily Worker, the meeting was disrupted by a group of armed “boss farmers” who kidnapped one of the men, Percy West, and forced him to take a train out of town, and assaulted another man, Allen Littlejohn. Records show that both West and Littlejohn were World War I veterans who resided at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Togus.