Contract Win!

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Consolidated Communications Workers (IBEW 2327 & CWA 1400) Ratify Contract
  • Union Members March in Maine’s Bicentennial Parade
  • US House Makes Progress on Infrastructure, Budget Bill and Voting Rights
  • EMLC & CMLC Labor Day Zoom Celebration — Sept. 6
  • Register for the Virtual Climate Jobs Summit on September 21
  • New Maine Working Class History Website!

Consolidated Communications Workers Ratify Contract with Wage Parity & Stronger Protections Against Subcontracting 

IBEW 2327 member at an informational picket earlier this month.

Unions representing 900 Consolidated Communications workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (IBEW 2320, 2326, and 2327 and CWA 1400) have overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new four-year contract that includes wage parity for rural workers, better protections against subcontracting, better job security and more.

“This contract will ensure workers are compensated fairly and that customers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont receive fast, reliable, broadband Internet built and installed with skilled union labor,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager for IBEW 2327. “This is a very important victory for workers and customers after several months of tough negotiations. There’s no question that the strong solidarity of the members of these four union locals brought us this critical victory.”

Members of the union locals voted last month to authorize a strike if they could not reach an agreement with the company.

The new contract includes:

  • An end to separate wage zones for rural and urban workers, so now workers in all three states will be in the same wage zones. Previously rural workers were paid less. Under this new agreement they will receive a 2 percent wage increase. This amounts to a raise for half of IBEW 2327's membership!
  • Wage increases of 1.5 percent the first year and 1.75 percent each year for the remainder of the contract. 
  • A work-from-home agreement that allows employees to telework if they are able and choose to do so.
  • No annual increases in health insurance co-pays.Stronger language to reduce the transfer of work to non-union workers outside of New England.

“This contract is a testament to the solidarity and courage of our members,” said DonTrementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400“They stuck together, they fought hard and they won. Once again they have proven that when workers band together and fight, they win!”

Union Members March in Maine Bicentennial Parade

The Western Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Maine Service Employees Association (SEIU 1989) organized a labor delegation to march in the Maine Bicentennial Parade last Saturday in Lewiston and Auburn. The procession included a float with a replica of Judy Taylor’s Maine Labor Mural, commemorating key events in Maine’s proud labor history.Union members from MSEA-SEIU 1989, United Steelworkers, Boilermakers, IBEW, and others were in attendance. The marchers and float received cheers and strong support from parade attendees. 

Western Maine Labor Council Float.


Maine AFL-CIO Applauds House Progress on Infrastructure, Budget Bill and Voting Rights

The US House voted on Tuesday to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill while simultaneously approving a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint that clears the way for Congress to pass a range of programs to strengthen workers' rights and significantly improve the lives of working Mainers and our communities 

"Taken together, these two bills will provide much needed investments in our future and will materially transform the lives of the working class people who keep this nation running," said Maine AFL-CIO President Cynthia Phinney. "We urge our Senators and Congresspeople to support both of these essential bills."

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act (H.R. 4) is also part of the package of bills. 

"Unions fight for democracy in the workplace and our communities," Phinney added. "We must address extremist attacks on voting rights across the country and protect what is the very foundation of our democracy."

EMLC & CMLC Labor Day Zoom Celebration — Sept. 6

Unfortunately due to the surge in coronavirus cases and the severity of the Delta variant, the Eastern Maine and Central Maine Labor Councils have canceled in-person Labor Day celebrations, but they do have a lively event planned on Zoom on Monday, September 6, from 5:30 - 6:30 pm.

This year EMLC will present its Dan Lawson Memorial Solidarity Award to Brother John Barry, who is an EMLC Trustee and member of American Federal and Government Employees (AFGE) Local 948. There will be a full agenda celebrating this year's local union victories and challenges, and highlighting Food and Medicine’s great work. Use this link to register to attend and to ensure that you receive the Zoom link, program booklet and agenda via email prior to the event.

Register for the Virtual Climate Jobs Summit on September 21

Wildfires. Droughts. Heatwaves. Floods. Climate breakdown is already hitting working people throughout the country, first and worst.

There has never been a better or more critical time to invest in climate action, address longstanding racial and economic inequality, and build a brighter future for our kids. We can do it all by making bold climate investments that create good union jobs — with dignity, respect, and strong worker protections -- in communities that need them most.

On September 21, hear from workers and union leaders in the climate jobs movement about how we can create millions of union jobs and build a renewable, worker-centered economy at the scale that science demands. Register here for the Climate Jobs Summit on September 21 from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

New Maine Working Class History Website!

Maine AFL-CIO communications director Andy O'Brien (me) and Will Chapman, librarian and archivist of the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society, are excited to announce the launch of the new website "Maine Working-Class History," which aims to promote interest in and awareness of Maine's long tradition of working-class struggles for rights and dignity. 

The website includes an online digital archive of Maine labor newspapers, several of our columns about Maine labor history, pdfs of a dozen books by Maine Labor Historian Charlie Scontras and more!  Our goal is to digitize every Maine labor newspaper from the past 200 years and make them available online.

If you are interested in getting involved with sharing and promoting Maine labor history or to just to learn about it, please email [email protected] or join our Maine Working Class History Facebook group!