Workers Step Up to Serve!

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Collins Votes to Confirm Extremist Labor Secretary
  • Union Members Appointed to State Commissions
  • Solidarity with Striking UAW Members
  • Let’s Get More Working Class People into Elected Office

Susan Collins Votes to Confirm Extremist Labor Secretary

Senator Susan Collins voted with her Republican colleagues on Tuesday to confirm union-busting lawyer Eugene Scalia for Secretary of Labor. From allowing investors to pocket money from workers' retirement accounts and suing to kill regulations on big banks to championing Boeing's decision to ship jobs to right-to-work states, Scalia has a long record of siding with greedy corporations over workers. He also represented Bath Iron Works in a lawsuit brought by three unions charging that the company altered their pensions without negotiating with the unions.

“We are very disappointed in Senator Susan Collins for voting to allow Scalia to take over the Department of Labor where he can do the bidding of billionaires and multinational corporations by further trampling on workers’ rights and making it harder and more dangerous to make a living in this country,” said Maine AFL-CIO president Cynthia Phinney. “Maine workers deserve a Secretary of Labor who will work to protect their rights, safety, wages and freedom to organize. Senator Collins has shown which side she works for.”

Union Members Appointed to State Commissions

Garrett Stewart of Machinists Local S6


We are excited to announce that union members have recently been appointed to a number of state boards and commissions. These panels meet when the Legislature is not in session and provide guidance on important policy decisions. It is critical to have union members serving in these roles because it ensures that decision makers hear the ideas and concerns of working class people on key issues.

Garrett Stewart of Machinists Local S6 has been appointed to the Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations, which will examine economic disparities among people of color and make recommendations on policies to secure economic justice for all workers regardless of race or ethnicity.

John Patrick retired member of USW Local 900 has been appointed to serve on the Citizen Trade Policy Commission, which studies the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on existing laws, working conditions and businesses in Maine.

Grant Provost of Ironworkers Local 7 and Jason Shedlock of the Maine State Building & Construction Trades have been appointed to the State Workforce Investment Board, which is responsible for assisting in supporting job training programs.

Elizabeth O’Connor of AFSCME Local 2011 has been appointed to the Working Group to Study the Consolidation of Payment of Cost-of-Living Tax Credits, which will make recommendations to the Legislature on the most effective means to consolidate applications and payment of cost-of-living tax credits.

Matt Schlobohm of the Maine AFL-CIO has been appointed to the labor seat of the Maine Climate Council which seeks to develop solutions and an action plan to address the impacts of climate change on Maine and seek to create good jobs in the transition to a clean energy economy.

We congratulate these workers and thank them for stepping up to serve the Maine people!

Solidarity with Striking UAW Members

We are strongly support the nearly 50,000 autoworkers striking for fair wages, affordable health care, job security and a defined path to permanent jobs and seniority for temp workers. GM hauled in $35 billion in profits in North America over the last three years even as it has closed plants and imposed an unfair tiered wage system under which long-term employees earn about $31 an hour while temp workers are paid $15 an hour for the same work.

So far, GM has lost $113 million in profits due to the strike and is currently losing money at a rate of $25 million a day. It’s time for GM to support their workers and make them a fair offer. In the meantime, you can get updates about the strike by checking UAW’s Facebook page.

Let’s Get More Working Class People into Elected Office!

This month PBS is streaming Councilwoman, an inspiring new documentary film depicting the life of UNITE HERE member and hotel housekeeper Carmen Castillo from her arrival in the US in the mid-1990s to her 2014 reelection bid to the Providence City Council. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Castillo advocates for the working class people in her community while also maintaining her full-time job as a hotel housekeeper.

Unfortunately, very few working class people ever get near the levers of power, even though numerous studies show that they are more likely to take pro-worker positions and are less supportive of cutting taxes on the rich and corporations. Currently, working people make up more than half of US citizens, but less than one-tenth of all elected officials.

We’re trying to change that! If you know of anyone who would make a good candidate for the Legislature or a local office, please urge them to sign up for our Worker Candidate Training on January 25 and 26, 2020 in Augusta. Our trainers give candidates all the tools you need to run a successful campaign. If you are interested or just want to learn more, please email Adam at [email protected] or give us a call at 622-9675!