IN THIS EDITION:
- Rally with IAM President Bob Martinez, Jr. to Support IAM S6 Workers this Saturday
- Join the Call-In Day of Action to Save the Postal Service
- Tell Senator King & Collins to Extend the Lifeline to Unemployed Workers
- Preble Street Workers Ratify First Contract Agreement with Pay Increases
- Nurses Calls on Calais Hospital to Protect Patients, Staff and Visitors
Rally with IAM President Bob Martinez Jr. to Support Striking Local S6 BIW Workers this Saturday
Union members and pro-worker allies are urged to come down to the Local S6 union hall at 722 Washington St in Bath this Saturday, July 25 at 9am to support BIW workers fighting for a fair contract. IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. will be on hand to deliver a message of solidarity to our Local S6 brothers and sisters and it would mean a lot to them to have other workers show up to support them. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. Hope to see you there!
Join the Call-In Day of Action to Save the Post Office
Please join workers from across the country today (Thursday, July 23) and tomorrow for a Call-in Day of Action to Save the US Postal Service. Revenues for the Postal Service have declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a ridiculous Congressional mandate to pre-fund retiree healthcare costs 75 years out. The popular agency will face dire economic consequences if Congress doesn't act soon to shore its finances. In May, the US House passed the Heroes Act that would provide $25 billion to keep the Postal Service running, but the Senate has yet to act, threatening deliveries of lifesaving drugs, lab tests, mail-in ballots and other critical mail to homes and businesses.
The Senate is back from recess and working on the next stimulus bill. We need to keep up the pressure to make them vote to end this crisis. Postal unions are planning to put in 10,000 calls to Congress on July 23 & July 24. Will you join us for a crucial call-in day of action? Sign up here to call:www.tinyurl.com/USMailNotForSaleJuly23
Tell Our Senators to Extend the Lifeline to Unemployed Workers
In less than two weeks, thousands of Mainers who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic will lose two-thirds of their weekly unemployment benefits if the US Senate fails to extend Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). At a time of high unemployment when companies are laying off workers and cases of the coronavirus continue to spike nationwide, this extra $600 a week has been a critical lifeline to Maine families and small businesses. Maine workers who are temporarily receiving this modest weekly benefit could face evictions in August if the US Senate fails to act soon.
In May, the US House passed the Heroes Act, which would extend this important benefit to help Mainers who have lost work due to the pandemic get back on their feet. If the Senate does not pass a similar measure, tens of thousands of Mainers will be plunged into poverty, economic activity will slow even further and there will be more layoffs, shuttered business and suffering. This is totally preventable.
Click her to send an email to Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and tell them to extend the lifeline to Mainers who have fallen on hard times!
Preble Street Workers Ratify First Contract with Pay Increases
After a year of organizing and negotiating Preble Street workers have finally ratified their first contract agreement that includes wage increases, better benefits and safer working conditions. In June of 2019, workers at the social service nonprofit that serves veterans, low-income Mainers and people experiencing homelessness voted 90-11 to form a union represented by MSEA-SEIU Local 1989. Over the past year, members filled out surveys, drafted proposals, met with management, had union cupcakes with their clients, had button and t-shirt days to show their unity and stuck together to make changes at work. The new contract will ensure:
- All starting wages will be raised to a minimum of $15 per hour.
- A .25 per hour step increase for all staff with 3 years or more seniority
- Annual wage increases of 3.5% and 2.5%
- The formation of a committee to address safety issues at the facilities
- Appropriate training for all staff.
- Up to 40 hours per year of paid time off for per diem staff
“We have come far despite hurdles none of us could have possibly predicted. We stood united and fought for ourselves and for our clients,” the union wrote in a memo. “Now we are looking forward to have the security of our contract behind us every day at work, looking forward to continuing to build on what we have won and the knowledge that WE DID THIS TOGETHER!”
Nurses Calls on Calais Hospital to Protect Patients, Staff and Visitors
Members of the Maine State Nurses Association at Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) recently signed and delivered a petition to their employer protesting the hospital’s relaxation of its visitation policy, just as COVID-19 cases were on the rise in Washington County.
Last week, CRH responded to the workers' demands and reversed some of its relaxed policies, handing the unionized workers a victory for their patients and themselves.
“We are concerned for all of our patients, of course, and also for our families to whom we go home every night,” said Registered Nurse Alison Monaghan. “So far, we have prevented community spread here, and we hope to keep it that way.”