Maine AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America Local 1400 are strongly supporting legislation aimed at preventing outsourcing and protecting good Maine jobs. LD 201, sponsored by Rep.

I understand why it would be insane to spend even a day without controllers, troops, Transportation Security Administration screeners, Coast Guard officers, FBI and Border Patrol agents and a laundry list of other truly essential workers employed by the federal government. What I don’t understand is why we tolerate a system that lets elected officials fail to do their one real job — funding the government — with no consequences for anyone in power.

Something funny happened on the way to the labor movement’s funeral.

The longest government shutdown in American history is over for now. On Friday afternoon, Donald Trump announced a deal to reopen government for the next three weeks. The short-term appropriations measure notably includes no funding for his beloved border wall — or steel slat fence, or smart wall, or whatever else he decides to call it in the future.

At 4am on Friday, February 9th, Governor LePage sent in heavily armed troopers to shut down Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF).  The Department of Corrections moved all inmates to other facilities and laid off the staff on the spot with no notice.

This is all despite the fact that he has no legal authority to do so, and in spite of the fact that the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee had just taken a unanimous vote in favor of a bill to fund DCF for the coming year.

A bill in Augusta would pave the way for driverless buses in Maine. Needless to say, bus drivers have big concerns.

Ed Knutson, Jon Cail, and Bill Nickerson (retired) came to Augusta to testify against LD 1724.  They are members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 714. 

Bus drivers do much more than simply turn the steering wheel. From helping disabled passengers, to conversing with the elderly, to giving directions, to navigating bad weather and changing road conditions, drivers are essential to our public transit system.

Health care workers at Hospice of Southern Maine voted to come together as a union in May.  

Since then, they have struggled to secure a first contract. Management is delaying bargaining progress, and retaliating against union leaders.

In Decemeber, community members rallied behind these brave and compassionate workers by holding a candlelit vigil in Monument Square in Portland.

We stand with these workers in their fight for a fair contract. 

Bangor nurse Amy Lee Tidd, a member of Maine State Nurses Association, recently returned from a medical relief trip to Puerto Rico.

Along side union members from across the United States, Amy Lee brought medical care to thousands of Puerto Ricans who were effected by the devestating Hurricane Maria. Travel conditions were difficult and resources scarce. 

In November, technicians at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital voted to form a union. 

These workers voted nearly unanimously to come together as a union, and to affiliate with the Maine State Nurses Assoication, National Nurses United. 

They join the RNs at Maine Coast who are also represented by MSNA. 

Welcome to the labor movement, brothers and sisters!