Weekly Labor Reader, Septembber 24 2019

Massachusetts Passes Strongest Response to Janus in the Country

Last week Massachusetts passed the strongest legislative response to the Janus vs. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision in the nation.

“Today the state legislature made a strong statement that unions are in the public interest and will remain a strong force for economic fairness in Massachusetts. The overwhelming bipartisan votes to override Governor Baker’s veto by the House and Senate this week demonstrate that unions are not a partisan issue in Massachusetts. This new law represents the most comprehensive response to the Janus ruling of any state in the country.”

Read the rest of President Tolman's statement here

SEIU 509 Ready To Strike at Fidelity House


SEIU Local 509 members at Fidelity House are set to strike on today if they don’t reach a tentative agreement with the agency.
Members at this agency provide services and support to clients with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 509 members love their clients and want to secure a contract that improves retention and respects staff.
Most 509 members at Fidelity make close to the minimum wage, but that’s not enough to live with dignity and respect. They are ready to fight for the contract that their clients deserve. RSVP now to join them and help spread the word on Facebook!
Sign our petition to show that you stand in solidarity with 509 members at Fidelity House.

After Years of Activism and Organizing, School Funding Bill Released

Last week the MA Legislature’s Education Commission released an education funding bill that would add $1.4 billion each year to the state funding formula. After initial review, both the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers, Massachusetts have praised the bill, declaring it a "major advance for education justice."

Merrie Najimy of the MTA said in a statement, "We have taken a big step closer to providing the funding that our students and our schools desperately need and deserve."

And AFT MA said: "While it will take time to fully analyze the education funding bill announced [yesterday], the funding provisions appear to be a major victory for our students and our schools!"

Read more from the MTA here and AFT MA here.
Read MassLive and Boston Globe coverage.

Support UNITE HERE Local 26 Strike

"It is unacceptable that the Battery Wharf Hotel has not agreed to language protecting women from sexual harassment and assault. It is unacceptable that the hotel owners refuse to include UNITE HERE Local 26's standard immigration language that upholds the security and safety of their members. And finally, it is unacceptable that the Battery Wharf Hotel refuses to keep contract language that every other union hotel in Boston has agreed to since 2006 that seeks to correct the historical discrimination of African-American workers in the hotel industry."

Click here to learn more about Strike and Sign the Pledge

Teamsters Local 25 On Day 27 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

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO encourages all members and allies to vote in their municipal primaries and to stay engaged this election season. Please click here for a list of municipal preliminary dates and to see the current list of AFL-CIO endorsed candidates.  

VOTE TODAY in: Boston, Chelsea, Fitchburg, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Taunton

Don't forget to check with your city on polling locations and remember to cast a ballot for strong, union candidates this September!

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.

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

September 26: City Councillor, Khrystian King's Fall Fundraiser, Worcester

September 27: The Price Of Free Film Screen and Conversation, Cambridge

September 30: Fostering A Recovery Friendly Workplace, Cambridge

October 3: UMass Lowell Labor Education Presents Automation and You

October 15: Tradeswomen Tuesday, Worcester

October 23: Boston Teachers Union Blood Drive

November 5: Election day!

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

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]

@lizshuler: I was honored to be in Detroit this weekend walking the picket line with @UAW brothers and sisters—I'll be walking the line in spirit until GM workers get the fair deal and respect they deserve! #1u