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

If you’ve never had to make coffee for your boss, it’s thanks to women who organized in the 1970s. And while the electric typewriter is no more, how women of that era organized is relevant—to current battles like organizing big tech, building care infrastructure, and winning labor reform by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—so women can form and join unions now without fear. So if we’re going to learn anything from history, it’s this: We need labor empowerment laws for the 21st century.

A week after releasing the most pro-union statement from a president in decades, President Biden issued a statement of administration policy today that strongly supports the passage of the PRO Act. The administration recognizes that the right to organize a union is a fundamental building block of the American Dream. Passing the PRO Act would strengthen and expand working people’s ability to form and join unions.

Anti-Asian racism has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working people condemn this vile behavior as a stain on our nation. We will continue to fight these injustices.

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Maine AFL-CIO Applauds House Passage of Critical Covid Relief Bill, Disappointed by Rep. Golden 'No' Vote
  • Signs of Support for Maine Med Nurses!
  • Union Members Gather for 2021 Legislative Conference
  • Coalition calls on Legislators to Roll Back Tax Cuts for the Rich
  • Letter Carrier Discusses Need to Strengthen USPS with Senator King
  • Building Trades Members Call for Better Safety Training on Construction Sites
  • Rep. Golden Leads Over 100 Colleagues to Push for Action on the PRO Act
  • Union Members Rally at Sen. King’s Office for Covid Relief & $15 Minimum Wage

“We’re at a crossroads. Inaction will only worsen the suffering that working people have weathered over the past year,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. “But if we commit to rebuilding our communities on an unprecedented scale, we can get through this crisis stronger than before.”

Read the full article in The Los Angeles Times.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is using the president’s new message to advocate for the swift passage of Democrats’ Protecting the Right to Organize Act. If passed, the measure would be the first bill to overhaul labor rights since the Taft-Hartley amendments of 1947 to the National Labor Relations Act, which outlawed some organizing tactics and allowed states to enact right-to-work laws. The new bill, among other things, would extend collective bargaining rights to gig workers, overturn state right to work laws, and allow the federal labor board to levy penalties against companies who violate federal labor law. Biden, Trumka wrote in a Monday statement, “has proven he’s willing to speak out and stand with us. Now it’s time to follow words with action.”

Read the full article in Politico.

In a statement last night, President Biden issued an unprecedented call to action for working people across the country to exercise our right to form unions. “Unions lift up workers, both union and non-union, but especially Black and Brown workers. I made it clear—I made it clear when I was running—that my administration’s policy would be to support unions organizing and the right to collectively bargain. I am keeping that promise,” Biden said plainly.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, thanked Biden for his support of the organizing drive. He said in statement, "As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions. And that is why so many working women and men are fighting for a union at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama." Appelbaum told NPR in January that the Bessemer warehouse workers wanted to join a union over concerns with grueling productivity quotas and wanted more input on workplace policies.