Juneteenth & Fund the Frontlines!

  • Celebrating Juneteenth
  • Workers Call on Senators King and Collins to Take Action to Fund the Frontlines
  • Check out the New Local S6 Temp Tales Episode!
  • Register Now for COPE Convention Awards Ceremony & Zoom Trainings
  • Tell the Mills Administration to Provide Relief for Laid Off Workers
  • Don’t Forget to Request an Absentee Ballot for the July Primary!

Celebrating Juneteenth

The Maine AFL-CIO echoes the statement(excerpted below) of National AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka recognizing Juneteenth and the critical ongoing work to fight for racial and economic justice. If you’d like to get involved in efforts in Maine to organize for racial and economic justice in our labor movement and communities sign up here.  For a great article on the role of mass strikes in ending slavery and in the ongoing work of racial and economic justice see here.

On June 19, we commemorate the official freeing of the last enslaved Black people in the United States. This is a day of profound meaning to Black workers, as it should be to all working people who cherish and defend the freedom to live our own lives, speak with our own voices and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We must fight more than ever before to ensure true economic freedom for Black workers. We will not allow workers to be perpetually divided by race! America’s union members, fresh off our Workers First Caravan for Racial + Economic Justice, are eager to take part in Juneteenth this year, many for the very first time. We are grateful for the struggle of Black leaders and community members who have poured sweat and shed blood in the pursuit of a greater America. We recommit ourselves today and every day to be a voice for all who live and work in these United States and to say out loud the names of those who were taken from us by racist violence. Black Lives Matter.

Workers Call on Senators King and Collins to Pass Stimulus to Fund the Frontlines

Andrew Brogden (IAFF 3106) with his kids at the Fund the Frontlines rally Wednesday.

As part of the national AFL-CIO’s Week of Action for racial and economic justie, fire fighters, state employees and other union members held a caravan demonstration from their cars outside the offices of US Senators Angus King and Susan Collins in Bangor Wednesday to call on the two Senators to pass a version of the  HEROES Act that would provide vital support to our state and local governments. In mid-May the U.S. House passed the HEROES Act, which would provide an additional $875 billion to shore up state and municipal budgets that are being devastated as a result of a steep decline in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic, we have seen the importance of public workers such as first responders, public health workers, bus drivers, as well as many others,” said firefighter Andrew Brogden, who is a member of IAFF Local 3106 and treasurer for the Eastern Maine Labor Council. “It's now time for the U.S. Senate to do its part and pass its version of the HEROES Act.”

Check Out the New Local S6 Temp Tales Episode!

A screenshot from the new Temp Tales ad supporting Machinists Local S6.

You may have heard that Machinists Local S6 negotiating committee has rejected BIW's contract proposal that would weaken worker protections and harm job quality at the shipyard. Currently, union members are voting on whether to accept or reject the contract and whether to go on strike. But did you know that General Dynamics is hoping to bring Temp Tales star Green Bud Kelly and his crew of ne’er do wells to do a little subcontracting at the yaahd? O’Chang Comics donated their time and labor to make a new cartoon about it, so click here to check it out and sign this petition to tell BIW President Dirk Lesko to respect workers who build the ships and negotiate a fair contract!

If workers vote to reject the contract and vote to strike, picket lines will be up Monday morning at BIW and we will share ways that you can support workers fighting for a fair contract.

Take Action to Provide Relief for Laid Off Workers

For the past three months we have been advising and supporting people who are still waiting for their unemployment claims to process after being out of work since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because they have been without income for three months, people are getting their cars repossessed and their phones disconnected, they're losing their businesses, landlords are threatening to evict them and some fear losing their homes. They contact us in tears and having panic attacks. This is unacceptable. Please sign this petition to ask Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner Laura Fortman to provide immediate relief to workers suffering an undue delay in receiving unemployment benefits.

Don’t Forget to Request an Absentee Ballot for the July 14 Primary!

Voting is one of the fundamental rights we have as citizens of this state and country. For the July 14th primary election, all voters are allowed to either vote in person or use absentee voting to cast their ballots without going to a voting place on Election Day. Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot instead of voting in person. You do not need to have a specific reason or be unable to vote on Election Day in order to vote absentee. 

To take advantage of this easy way to vote at a time that is most convenient for you, click on this link. Use this online service to request your absentee ballot electronically. The ballot will be sent to you via postal mail and must be returned to your municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on July 14th. The deadline to request an absentee ballot by telephone or online Absentee Ballot Request service is 5 pm on Thursday, July 9th..

Contact your local municipal clerk or the Elections Division if you have additional questions. Click here to find your municipal clerk.

Register Now for the COPE Convention Awards Ceremony & Zoom Trainings for Convention

The Maine AFL-CIO online COPE Convention is happening this coming week Thursday & Friday June 25 & 26th.  See info below for important Zoom trainings! The Maine AFL-CIO will recognize four award winners who have worked hard to advance workers’ rights and economic justice at our COPE Convention on Thursday, June 25, from 6pm to 7:30pm on zoom. If you would like to attend on zoom, please RSVP to [email protected]. The award winners are as follows:

The Solidarity Award — Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) drivers (Machinists Local S89) in recognition of their efforts in organizing a worker-led campaign to build their union, win a first contract and improve the services they provide to our communities.

President's Award — USW 366 & IATSE 114 members for their hard work, determination and devotion to making sure frontline workers got the protection they needed at a critical time by transforming production at American Roots in Westbrook.

Edie Beaulieu Award – State Representative Scott Cuddy (D – Winterport) and IBEW 1253 in recognition of his outstanding leadership on workers’ issues in the Legislature.

Working Class Hero Award —  The Oberson-Brogden family (Erin Oberson, Maine State Nurses Association/NNU & Andrew Brogden, IAFF 3106) for working tirelessly to build a stronger, broader workers’ movement and for always making union business family business.                         

 Join One of Our Zoom Trainings 

Join Cynthia Phinney to learn or just to practice using Zoom for online meetings such as our upcoming COPE convention. You are welcome at any of the three practice sessions: Monday June 22, 4:00-5:00pm, Tuesday June 23, 1:30-2:30pm or Wednesday June 24, 6:30-7:30pm.

You can join on any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Plan to log on a few minutes before the session starts, and if you haven’t used Zoom before you will want to allow even a few more extra minutes for it to set itself up on your device, but it’s as easy as clicking this link.

If you are unable to use video for your connection you can join audio-only by using any phone and dialing 1-929-205-6099 and, if needed, entering 

Meeting ID # 996 6600 5459  Password: Practice

If you are reading this on a smartphone and want to call using audio only here is the one-tap mobile connection: +13126266799,,99666005459#,,,,0#,,784081# If you have questions beforehand you can email [email protected] and if you have trouble getting logged on, call ot text Cynthia 207-491-9928.