Weekly Labor Reader, October 4 2019

Constitutional Convention Brings New Initiatives for MA AFL-CIO

October 3, 2019: By unanimous consent of over 200 delegates to the 2019 Massachusetts AFL-CIO Biennial Constitutional Convention, Steven A. Tolman, Massachusetts AFL-CIO President, was elected to a third term in office last week. In his remarks, President Tolman urged unions to remain in solidarity with one another and to remember each other’s humanity.
Throughout the three-day convention, delegates passed eleven resolutions on a range of issues including Labor and the Environment, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Housing Justice and Young Worker Organizing. To read more, including the full text of all resolutions, click here.

Rally FRIDAY with UNITE HERE Local 26 Battery Wharf Strikers

Battery Wharf Hotel workers are ON STRIKE! After a year and a half of negotiations, the Battery Wharf Hotel has failed to recognize the hard work of its workers. One job should be enough to pay the bills, raise a family, and retire with dignity!
Local 26 Battery Wharf Hotel workers are not just fighting for their families. They are fighting to make sure Boston is a city that respects every worker, woman, immigrant, and African-American. Please join Friday October 4th!


Now featuring English activist and folk singer, Billy Bragg.

Mass. Senate Unanimously Passes Student Opportunity Act

Yesterday, 10/3, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed the Student Opportunity Act. Your organizing efforts have made all the difference and we are now one step closer to passing a once-in-a-generation funding bill for our schools which would implement the recommendations of the 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission and increase state PreK-12 aid to local districts by $1.5 billion per year over inflation, after a seven-year phase-in.

The Fund Our Future campaign today issued the following statement:

“Students, parents, union educators, and community advocates all across the state have been demanding fully- and equitably-funded schools for years. Today, the Senate listened and did the right thing by passing the Student Opportunity Act. Today’s historic vote brings us another step closer to finally ensuring that every student in Massachusetts, no matter what community they live in, has the same access to a great public education.

“We are particularly pleased that the Senate included language in the bill that ensures local community control of our public schools while also providing for improved transparency. Now, we look forward to seeing the Student Opportunity Act passed by the House, so that we can deliver the equitable school funding that students and our communities deserve.”

Read more here.

SEIU 509 Reaches Settlement, Strike Victory

After a long day of bargaining on Sunday, SEIU Local 509 members at Fidelity House have reached a settlement with management to raise wages at the Lawrence-based human services agency, ending an open-ended strike that has been ongoing since Tuesday.

“Since we formed a union, we’ve shown that every time workers stand together, we win higher wages and better care for the people we serve. We’re glad to end the strike so we can get back to the important work we do each and every day.” said Francisco Fabian of Lawrence, SEIU 509 chief steward, who has worked at Fidelity House for over 20 years.

Read more here.

Teamsters Local 25 On Day 37 of Strike

24 truck drivers and trash collectors for Republic Services in Marshfield, members of Teamsters Local 25, went on strike at 1:00 a.m. Thursday, August 29. They are demanding adequate and affordable healthcare, comparable pay to other Republic Services drivers in towns as close as Quincy, and a union contract. Since the strike began, the Teamsters Local 25 members have walked the picket lines 24 hours a day, with solidarity from local unions and residents. Now, drivers in San Jose, Chula Vista, San Diego, and Fall River, MA have begun solidarity strikes in support of their brothers and sisters.

Please add your support to the picket line. Members of Teamsters Local 25 and their allies are picketing at the Marshfield location (965 Plain Street) 24/7 until a deal is reached. Join fellow union and community members and show solidarity on the picket line! Follow Teamsters 25 on Facebook or Twitter for frequent updates.

Vote For Labor's Endorsed Candidates on Nov 5th

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO encourages all members and allies to vote and to stay engaged this election season. Please click here for a current list of Central Labor Council and Assembly-endorsed candidates in municipal races. Stay tuned for a list of volunteer opportunities with Labor’s endorsed candidates!

Above all, remember to VOTE on November 5th. Click here for information about your registration status and polling location.

UMass Labor Center Accepting Applications for ULA Center

The Union Leadership & Activism (ULA) master’s degree in Labor Studies is designed specifically for labor activists who work full-time. The Labor Center believes that the struggle for economic justice is inseparable from the fight for racial and gender equity, and thus take an intersectional approach to both curriculum and recruitment priorities. Another defining feature of the ULA program is the powerful sense of community created during the periods of concentrated study that the 10-day residencies provide. Labor activists from around the United States and the world come together to share the lessons of their local struggles and leave with lifelong friends and a renewed sense of purpose.

With a near 100 percent placement record, the ULA alumni network extends throughout the United States and beyond, and their faculty have strong relationships throughout the labor movement as well. Join other labor leaders, staff, and union members and explore the labor movement in a vibrant tight-knit community setting. Apply to the ULA program today! The priority application deadline is October 15, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after that as capacity allows.

Click here to schedule a follow up phone call

Click here to start your application

Visions Of Labor: Film and Workers Voices

The UMass Labor Center invites you to join them November 8-10 for an exciting event, Visions of Labor: Film and Worker Voices. Together, as workers and social justice activists, participants will watch and discuss new and classic labor films, along with worker-created videos, and explore the power of worker stories and how these stories can be used to inspire reflection and spur creative action. There will be a sneak preview of a major labor film in-progress, and hear from the film’s director. The films and videos shown will reflect the diversity of the labor movement and working people, and discussion will highlight the many ways in which worker voices can be effectively heard and used to build the movement.

For more details and to register, click here.

Register for 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.

Click here to learn more about this job opportunity.

October 7: Western MA Area Labor Federation Delegate Meeting, Springfield

October 10: Western MA Area Labor Federation Racial Justice and Immigration Meeting, Springfield

October 10 &17: Workshop Registration- Building Trades Issues and Strategies, Taunton

October 15: Tradeswomen Tuesday, Worcester

October 15: Western MA Area Labor Federation Solidarity Committee Meeting, Springfield

October 19: North Shore Labor Council Annual Dinner

October 23: Boston Teachers Union Blood Drive

October 26: The James Green Memorial Lecture and Peoples History Walking Tour of Boston,Boston

November 5: Election day - VOTE!

November 8: Greater Boston Labor Council Annual Dinner

November 9-10: Visions of Labor: Film and Worker Voices, Amherst

December 6: The Labor Guild CGA Awards Dinner

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]

@beth_kontos: Thanks to Senator @PaulFeeneyMA for standing up for the Students Opportunity Act and asking for educator and community voice in our schools! @AFTMass @AFTunion #FundOurFuture #unanimous on to the House...