Continuing the Fight for Racial & Economic Justice

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Continuing the Fight for Racial & Economic Justice
  • Show Your Support for BIW Workers
  • Need Silk Screening Done? Go Union!
  • Don't Forget to Nominate Your Favorite Steward of the Year
  • Union Members Provide Food Boxes for Health Care Workers
  • 100 Years Ago the Maine Workers Called for Universal Health Care

Continuing the Fight for Racial & Economic Justice

Members of the Nurses Union calling for racial and economic justice in 2015.

National AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka released the following statement yesterday:

My heart is heavy at the events of the past few days. I watched the video of George Floyd pleading for his life under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. No person of conscience can hear Floyd’s cries for help and not understand that something is deeply wrong in America.

What happened to George Floyd, what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, what happened to far too many unarmed people of color has happened for centuries. The difference is now we have cell phones. It’s there for all of us to see. And we can’t turn our heads and look away because we feel uncomfortable.

Racism plays an insidious role in the daily lives of all working people of color. This is a labor issue because it is a workplace issue. It is a community issue, and unions are the community. We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.

To read Trumka’s full statement go here. In Maine, the A. Phillip Randolph Institute Maine chapter has been building a caucus of union members and workers of color to organize for racial justice. If you are interested in getting more involved, email Garrett, gstewart4785 (at) outlook (dot) com To learn more about ways you can personally work for racial justice go here.

Show Your Support for BIW Workers!

Click here to use the new "Support BIW Workers" Facebook frame!


As we reported last week, members of Machinists Local S6 are in the middle of tough contract negotiations with Bath Iron Works for a fair contract. If you would like to show your support for these workers, click here to add a frame to your Facebook profile picture like the photo shown here! 

Need Silk Screening Done? Go Union!

IBEW 2327 members at Xtreme Silkscreen in Westbrook.Do you need any screen printing done? Check out Xtreme Screen & Sportswear in Westbrook where workers (pictured here) recently formed a union with IBEW 2327! After a short negotiation period, Xtreme Screen workers voted on April 1st to become a unionized screen printing shop producing shirts, hats, hoodies and other apparel as well as promotional products, golf balls, coffee mugs, water bottles , magnets, frisbees and more.

“I finally feel like we are working at a place we love and enjoy. I have worked many jobs in the past mostly retail and this company cares about its employees,” said Crystal Jordan, an Xtreme Screen worker and member of the IBEW 2327. “I enjoy my job as an embroidery tech and I solve technical issues daily. I feel my job is very rewarding as I’m helping serve other unions’ needs.”

For more information check out the Xtreme Screen website or email [email protected].

Don't Forget to Nominate Your Favorite Steward of the Year!

With the Maine AFL-CIO's virtual COPE (Committee on Political Education) Conventionfast approaching, remember it's not too late to send us your Steward of the Year nomination for that outstanding union steward in your workplace! A committee will evaluate all the submissions sent to our online portal by Monday, June 15th, then make a selection. We will recognize the steward at the COPE Convention, which will be held ONLINE on June 25th and 26th. 

Local union Presidents have already received an email with the Convention Call and link to delegate registration. Registration is required by Friday, June 19th. If you are interested in being a delegate for your union please contact your union President to ask about your union's COPE delegate selection process. If you don't know how many delegates your union is allotted, please contact [email protected] or 207-622-9675. 

AFT 5093 Members Provide Food Boxes for Health Care Workers

Christy Danforth (left), Vice President, & Lisa White (right), President of AFT Local 5093


In an awesome show of union solidarity, Eastern Maine Labor Council and Food and Medicine recently joined forces with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) healthcare unit (Local 5093) to provide 20 massive food boxes for some amazing local healthcare workers and their families. 

“When you’re on the front lines during a pandemic, the last thing you should need to worry about is getting food on the table! In times of strife, our union brothers and sisters have each others’ backs — that’s what mutual support is all about,” reported Food and Medicine. 

100 Years Ago the Maine Workers Called for Universal Health Care

With thousands of Mainers losing their jobs along with their employer-sponsored health insurance, we should never forget that Maine workers have long fought for universal health care. 100 years ago today, on June 2, 1920, the Maine State Federation of Labor passed the following resolution at its convention:

Whereas, sickness, which each year affects one-fifth of the adult workers, is the most prolific source of poverty, and, 

Whereas, even the fear of sickness and its disastrous effects undermines the well-being of the workers; and 

Whereas, the workers, through their trade unions and fraternal organizations have made heroic efforts to meet this crying need of the wage earners; 

And whereas, in these sick benefit plans, the workers bear the entire expense, although industry is in part responsible for the sickness among the workers, therefore be it, 

Resolved that the Maine State Federation of Labor in convention assembled endorse universal health insurance which will bring sickness protection to all workers and which will place upon industry its just share of the cost of such insurance; be it further 

Resolved, that such a measure should embrace medical care and cash benefits during illness, and funeral benefit; should provide for active participation of workers in the management and for democratic administration; and should exclude all interference by the commercial insurance interests.