News

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Organizing Wave Continues — Biddeford Saco O.O.B. Transit Workers Form Union
  • Machinist Member Doug Hall Kicks Off PRO Act Tour Across Maine
  • Maine Med Nurses Have Formed a Union - Now the Hard Work Begins
  • The PRO-Labor Legislative Round-up
  • Maine Service Employees Association Hiring for Field Rep
  • When Maine Workers Launched the First Independent Labor Media Outlets

Thirty two transit drivers, mechanics and other staff at Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB Transit) have formed a union with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 714 and will soon be negotiating their first contract.

“Drivers here are woefully underpaid and that was one of the main reasons for workers wanting to organize a union,” said ATU member Joe Gaudette, who is a part-time BSOOB Transit driver. “Now that we’re officially a union we urge BSOOB Transit to work with us to reach a fair contract that appropriately compensates employees for the valuable service we provide to the community.”

BSOOB Transit is the primary provider of public transportation in the Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach region with express commuter bus service that connects the Tri-Town area to downtown Portland and seasonal trolleys that serve tourist destinations in the area. ATU 714 also represents transit workers at the Community Connector in Bangor, the Greater Portland Metro bus line and the Regional Transportation Program in Portland. The successful union election comes on the heals of two major union election victories at Portland Museum of Art and Maine Medical Center.

IN THIS EDITION:

  • New Hampshire Labor Movement Defeats Right to Work for Less Bill!
  • Consolidated Communications Workers in Tough Contract Negotiations
  • The Labor Legislative Round-Up
  • Mainers for Tax Fairness Rally - Tuesday, June 8
  • Machinists’ Union Hold Guide Dogs Golf Tournament Benefit
  • A 12-Minute Musical History of Maine Labor Struggles

IN THIS EDITION:

  • From Iraq to Maine: An Interview with USW 366 Unit President, Anaam Jabbir
  • Union Business Spotlight: Xtreme Screen Printing
  • Governor Mills’ Change Package Fully Funds Education and Revenue Sharing
  • Bill to Improve Unemployment System Clears Committee
  • Committee Passes Bill to Protect Whistleblowers
  • Maine AFL-CIO Gives Race & Labor Presentation to Legislative Committee

Last week, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion investment in our country’s recovery and future success. AFL-CIO affiliate unions released a flurry of statements praising the bill’s enactment and highlighting how the American Rescue Plan will help our members.

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Maine Med Patients to Maine Med Nurses: Please vote YES for us!
  • How Maine Workers Fought for Democracy Presentation — Thurs. 3/25
  • New Union Member Orientation Train the Trainers — April 9th & 10th
  • VIDEO: The Most Important Pro-Worker Bill In Decades
  • American Rescue Plan Delivers for Union Members
  • Tell Sen. Collins to Vote for Julie Su for Deputy Labor Secretary
  • IAM Local S7 Entering Contract Negotiations

"When technology comes into a union worksite, we're able to negotiate to get a fair share of the increased productivity and make sure it's healthy and safe — it's called bargaining acquiescence. We bargain to get a fair share for workers. But society as a whole doesn't have that," says Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.

Read the full article on CNBC.

AFL-CIO on Thursday called for the Senate to abolish the filibuster if it prevents Democrats from moving forward with a pro-worker agenda. “For decades, working people have paid the price for corporate-first government,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Time and again, the Senate’s arcane rules have been used to keep working people from claiming the basic rights and dignities that we’ve earned. The labor group’s executive council wrote in a statement that the House-passed PRO Act gives Senate Republicans the chance to show if they are ready to work for workers.

Today, the US House voted 220-211 to pass President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan that will provide critical funding for public services, vaccinations, $1,400 stimulus checks, assistance for laid off workers, funding to guarantee pensions for one million workers, school funding, family medical leave for workers impacted by Covid-19, provisions to cut child poverty in half and more. The American Rescue Plan  is the largest direct increase in worker purchasing power ever.

"The PRO Act would protect and empower workers to exercise our freedom to organize a bargain," Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, told NPR in a recent interview. "It's a game changer. If you really want to correct inequality in this country — wages and wealth inequality, opportunity and inequality of power — passing the PRO Act is absolutely essential to doing that."

President Biden proved once again he’s a champion of his own workforce. AFGE members asked Biden to revoke a memo former President Trump had issued in January 2020 that gave the secretary of defense, or their designee, the authority to eliminate collective bargaining rights for civilian workers in the Defense Department (DoD). Biden answered the call, revoking Trump’s memo on Feb. 24 of this year.

“He got it,” Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, said of Biden. “Many times you go into meetings like that and you have to start with the basics about why collective bargaining is important, and then you get to the end, and they still really don’t get it,” Trumka, whose organization represents the largest federation of labor unions in the United States, said in a phone interview today. “None of that was necessary with him. He already had that going in. So we talked about solutions.