News

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Google Workers Organize with CWA 1400
  • Union Members Meet with Congregational Delegation on New COVID Relief Bill
  • Register Now for Maine AFL-CIO State Legislative Conference - Feb. 26
  • Learn How Maine’s Earned Paid Time Off Law Impacts Collective Bargaining - Feb. 3
  • Register Now for Medicare for All Strategy Conference

This year, due to the pandemic, we have cancelled our in-person Labor Lobby Day activities at the State House, but we will be holding a virtual 2020 Legislative Policy Forum for union members to le

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Labor Reading Group to Feature Author Bill Fletcher, Jr. — Jan. 28th
  • Union Members Deliver Nearly 10 Tons of Food to Mainers in Need
  • New Book Chronicles Worker Militancy in Maine’s Paper Industry
  • Kittery Water District Workers Ratify First Contract
  • Join Virtual Events Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • MSEA-SEIU 1989 Hiring for a Union Organizer Position

One way to view President Donald Trump’s executive actions last week on COVID relief is that they represent unlawful overreach. But that would imply that while his actions are illegal, they are nevertheless effective — and therein lies the core problem. What our showman president signed last week was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. 

In March, working families across the country started to scramble. Our homes were transformed into makeshift classrooms, summer camps and daycare centers as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools and child care facilities.

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Local S6 Reaches Tentative Agreement with BIW
  • Susan Collins Paved the Way for Attacks on the Postal Service
  • Operating Engineers Local 4 Members Keeping Busy This Summer
  • Waterville Firefighters Negotiate Better Retirement Benefits in New Contract
  • Firefighters Call on Our Senators to Fund the Frontlines!

IN THIS EDITION:

  • MSNA Members Honor Fallen Nurses & Call on Senator Collins to Save Lives
  • Maine Planned Parenthood Workers Vote to Form a Union
  • IBEW 567 & 490 Keeping Busy Installing Clean Energy Projects
  • Local S6 Stands Strong in Talks with BIW
  • Maine APRI Leader Speaks About Workers' Rights & Racial Justice at Teletown Hall

IN THIS EDITION:

  • US Senate Must Pass Stimulus to Support Frontline Workers 
  • Workers Struggle as Unemployment Benefits Expire This Week
  • Hundreds of Local S6 Members Rally for a Fair Contract
  • Portland Letter Carriers Blow Whistle on USPS for Delaying Mail to Benefit Amazon

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

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Laid Off Workers Call on Senators to Extend Unemployment Benefits
  • Maine AFL-CIO Endorsed Candidates Win Primary Elections
  • Union Members Show Up to Support Local S6 Brothers & Sisters
  • Machinists Union to Hold Guide Dog Charity Golf Tournament — Aug. 21
  • EMLC Delivers “COVID Solidarity Response” Meals to Frontline Workers

Laid Off Workers Call on Senators to Extend Unemployment

Machinists Local S6 member Jake and Jennifer Frost with their children Kenneth and Reagan.


Last week, unemployed workers and small business owners met with the staff of Senators Angus King and Susan Collins to urge them to extend the extra $600 in weekly supplemental unemployment assistance that is set to expire on July 25th. The group, which was assembled by the Maine AFL-CIO through our Unemployment Assistance Group, gave heartfelt, impassioned testimonies about how cutting this lifeline it will result in many Maine families becoming severely financially strained or even homeless.

Jennifer Frost of Farmingdale is a therapist in private practice who is out of work due to COVID because she typically works in schools, which closed in March and most children have not been able to adapt to online appointments. Speaking to a Collins staffer on Thursday, Jennifer pointed out that she and her family can normally budget for emergencies, but her husband Jake is on strike with Local S6 at Bath Iron Works, so they are temporarily dependent on her income from unemployment.

“This $600 a week is the difference between being able to afford our daily living expenses and staying in our house,” said Jennifer. “Between losing my husband’s income and health insurance due to the strike and my income due to schools closing down, the $600 is holding us together. I consider us middle class, but at this point we’re really struggling.” 

Senator King’s staff said he is supportive of the extension, but Senator Collins says she is concerned that some low wage workers are making a little more than they were in their previous jobs. We urge you to contact Senator Collins and tell her why this extension is important to Maine families.