Weekly Labor Reader, July 16, 2019

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Support Macy's Cosmeticians - Sign Petition Now

This spring 1,000 Macy’s workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island won a huge victory when they used their collective power to authorize a strike and get management back to the table to win a fair contract.
Now, the cosmetics and fragrance workers at the Downtown Crossing Macy’s store in Boston have their first chance to join their co-workers in the union — but, of course, they are facing a vicious anti-union campaign from management.
The vote on whether to unionize happens this Friday, July 19th. Please sign this petition to Macy's management to say, we the customers, union members and communities demand an end to antiunion campaigning at Macy's!

Support VTA Strikers

Martha's Vineyard bus drivers have been on strike since June 28 after their out-of-state employer, TCI, and the agency that contracts with them, the VTA, decided to prematurely walk away from negotiations.

Here's how to support them now:
  1. Join VTA Strikers at VTA Board Meeting - Wednesday, July 17th 5-7pm, 11 A Street, Edgartown, MA

    For the first time since our year-round VTA bus drivers went on strike on June 28, the VTA advisory board is finally having a meeting. This meeting comes after weeks of demands by strikers, riders, and community leaders that VTA Administrator Angela Grant and the VTA board be held accountable for TCI's union-busting, abandonment of negotiations, and cancellation of Medivan service. To learn more and read about strikers demands to VTA strikers, click here.

  2. Donate to strike fund. You can help them by contributing to the Martha's Vineyard bus drivers strike fund today.

Baker Returns Unsigned Janus Bill to Legislature

On Friday Governor Baker returned the Freedom to Join bill (H.3854), Massachusetts' robust response to the U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision, to the legislature with a recommendation for amendments. We urge the House and Senate to reject the Governor’s amendments and re-enact H.3854 with no changes. Once the House and Senate re-enact the legislation, the Governor will again have 10 days to either sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, the bill will become law after 10 days. Due to the upcoming August recess it is critical that the legislature return this bill to the Governor early this week!

Rally for Public Defenders, Thurs. at Noon

MassDefenders - Justice at Work
Rally for Public Defenders
Thursday, July 18th, 12pm
Grand Staircase, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston
Join Mass Defenders, bill sponsors and community allies for a rally inside the State House to call on the leadership of the legislature to pass bill H.2330/S.1555. About 700 state employees still lack the right to organize and collectively bargain and H.2330/S.1555 would fix this.
After the rally, join SEIU 888 for food and drinks at Democracy Brewing, 25 Temple Place at 3pm. RSVP: http://tinyurl.com/cpcsrally

Support City on a Hill Teachers

Last year staff at City on a Hill voted to join the Boston Teachers Union! Now, they are negotiating for the contract that #StudentsDeserve.
They know that improving the working conditions for staff will help them better serve students and their communities.

Please add your name to this petition to express support for the educators and staff of CoaH in their efforts to negotiate a fair contract for the schools and contract #StudentsDeserve.

Massachusetts Needs to Invest in Infrastructure

Massachusetts has the 3rd worst infrastructure in the US scoring 123 points out of 350 for an "F" grade. It's time we invest in our roads, bridges and public transit infrastructure!
"Massachusetts is only the 15th largest U.S. state by population, but commuting times in the Bay State are the fourth longest. That may have something to do with the fact that the state’s roads and bridges are among the worst in the country. Massachusetts is one of the nation’s oldest states, joining the union on Feb. 6, 1788. Sometimes it feels like parts of the infrastructure have been around at least that long."

We Mourn Hector Figueroa, Visionary Leader of 32BJ SEIU

Hector Figueroa, who as president of one of the country’s most influential labor unions led successful campaigns for better pay and working conditions for thousands of low-wage workers, died on Thursday at his home in Jackson Heights, Queens. He was 57.
His wife, Deidre McFadyen, said the cause was a heart attack.
Mr. Figueroa was president of 32BJ SEIU, a New York local of the Service Employees International Union that represents more than 170,000 building cleaners, security guards, doormen and airport workers. In the seven years since he was first elected to lead the local, it added about 50,000 members and built its political clout.
Mr. Figueroa supported the grass-roots effort by fast-food workers in New York that grew into a nationwide campaign for a higher minimum wage known as the Fight for 15.

Announcing Union Member Candidate School

Support for union members running for elected office is a top priority for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and our affiliates. We know that when our members run on a platform of working people’s values and receive unified support from the labor movement, we will win. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO and its Executive Board are establishing a union candidate school to train our members to run for elected office from the local/municipal level all the way up to statewide/federal office.
Our first session will be held on Saturday December 7th, 9am-2pm. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. The training will be free of charge and participants will be given materials to use as a reference for campaign purposes.

Learn more and register here.

July 18: SEIU 888 Rally to Support Public Defenders at the State House, Boston

July 22: Free wage theft legal clinic sponsored by MA Attorney General's Office, Boston

July 23: Rally for Safety, Lowell

August 6: Boston Tradeswomen Tuesday

August 12: Harbor Cruise Greater Southeastern MA Labor Council

August 18: Building Trades Futures (rotating locations)

August 23: MA AFL-CIO Political & Legislative Roundtable, Dorchester

September 2: Labor Day Breakfasts in Boston and Worcester

September 6: Western MA Area Labor Federation's Labor Day Breakfast, Chicopee

September 19: Building Pathways Awards Benefit, Boston

September 25-September 27: MA AFL-CIO Convention, Springfield

For a full list of events, visit the calendar on our website. If you have any events that you would like to be included, contact Rachael Running at [email protected]

@MassNurses: “It is not just the residents of Somerville who will be impacted by a decision to close the emergency department. There are a number of vulnerable patients, including the poor, homeless and immigrant populations who depend on us...” RN Lisa Valley-Shah

@AFLCIO: Poor labor practices and ties to anti-immigration policy have spurred calls for avoiding the retail giant on its biggest shopping holiday #primeday. #1u