Mother Jones in Heaven & More!

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Last Chance to Register for Summer Institute!
  • Reading of “Mother Jones in Heaven,” Aug 7th at UMaine
  • Union & Activists Protest Tax Fraud and Worker Misclassification
  • USW 366 Members Featured in USW @ Work

Last Chance to Register for Summer Institute!

It’s not too late to register for our annual Labor Summer Institute, which will be held next Wednesday and Thursday, August 7-8, at the University of Maine in Orono! We’ve got a fantastic program this year including informative workshops on how to build worker power, lessons from past organizing efforts and the current state of the labor movement.

We’ll have panels featuring union members from Europe and Canada, veterans of the Maine Woodsman’s Association’s organizing drive in the 1970s and woodsworkers currently organizing in the New England Logging Cooperative. There will also be workshops on building a movement for health care justice, how to get members more involved, social media, labor and racial justice and more! Please sign up online here or contact Sarah Bigney, [email protected].

Reading of “Mother Jones in Heaven,” Aug 7th at UMaine

We are thrilled to be hosting a reading of Si Kahn’s musical “Mother Jones in Heaven” at 6:15 pm on Wednesday, August 7 as part of Labor Summer Institute at the Wells Conference Center at the University of Maine in Orono. Actress Vivian Nesbitt (Breaking Bad & The Night Shift) will portray Mary Harris “Mother” Jones in a rousing musical about the fiery labor organizer who lead the charge for better working conditions and fair pay for miners and mill workers while crusading against child labor. The reading will include musical accompaniment by Nesbit's husband John Dillon (Art of the Song Radio).

Mother Jones was dubbed The Most Dangerous Woman in America because, said a West Virginia judge, “at the crook of her little finger, she could get 8000 men to walk out on strike.” Feared, revered and lauded in song and story, Mother Jones was “the grandmother of all agitators” during the late 19th and early 20th century. There will be Q&A following the 85-minute performance. The event is free, but donations are appreciated from anyone not participating in Labor Summer Institute. For directions click here and for more information about "Mother Jones in Heaven" visit http://motherjonesinheaven.com. 

WHAT: "Mother Jones in Heaven" musical by Si Kahn
WHEN: Wednesday, August 7th; 6:15 pm
WHERE: Wells Conference Center (2nd Floor) 131 Munson Road, University of Maine, Orono
Free and open to the public; donations accepted

Labor Activists Protest Tax Fraud and Worker Misclassification

Don Desjardins handing out fliers last Thursday |Photo: Cara DeRose


The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) and members of the Bowdoin Labor Alliance (BLA) gathered last Thursday to protest tax fraud and worker misclassification being committed by Timberland Drywall, a subcontractor for Wright-Ryan Construction, that has been working on Bowdoin’s new student dorms. The coalition alleges that Timberland Drywall has been misclassifying employees as “independent contractors” to get out of paying taxes as well as worker’s compensation, health insurance and other employee benefits. 

One former Timberland Drywall worker told the Maine Beacon that he was attracted to working for the company as an independent contractor in the early 2000s because it seemed like he was making a lot of money until he got hit with a massive tax bill.

“As a young man, I didn’t give much thought to it, so I said I will just skip that year on taxes. I got caught years later and the taxes I owed then were almost 100 times more than I originally owed,” he said. “I’m still paying 168 dollars a week levied out of my check for God knows how long to pay those stupid taxes I got screwed on when I was young.”

The two groups intend to plan to hand out flyers at the site for the next three weeks. If you know of companies misclassifying workers let us know!

USW 366 Workers Featured in USW @ Work

Anaam Jabbir of USW Local 366


Workers at American Roots, a Portland-based apparel company, were featured in the spring edition of USW & Work.The company produces all American-sourced, union-made clothing for a variety clients. The majority of American Roots workers, who are members of USW 366, are also New Mainers, hailing from countries like Iraq, Ethiopia, Angola and elsewhere. To ensure access to a qualified workforce, American Roots was able to establish partnerships with Portland Adult Education and Goodwill Industries, which helped employees adapt to the industry and living in Maine. 

“American Roots is not like a regular place to work. It represents a big dream,” said Khalid Al Kinani of USW 366. “When we come to work every day, we all feel proud. We feel we are part of restoring the great name of American industry.”