The NALC has issued the December 19, 2014 Legislative Update. Click here to read more about the 113th Congress, FY 2015 government funding, Senate committee assignments, Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, and House hearings on pension processing.
The MSALC will hold the 2015 State Convention the weekend of May 16-17, 2015 in Presque Isle, Maine. Click here or on the link above for more information as it becomes available.
Letter carriers from Maine and across the country gathered in Philadelphia July 21-25 for the 69th Biennial Convention of the NALC. Despite all the activities going on, members of the Maine State Association managed to gather for a photo at the convention center. For information and video of the convention activities, click here.
From Left to Right: Branch 92 Secretary Treasurer Mark Seitz, Branch 92 Trustee John MacGregor, Branch 92 Retiree Representative Larry Woods, Branch 92 Sergeant at Arms Bill Devine, MSALC President Mitch Bowman, Tim White-Branch 391, Tim Cameron-Branch 391, Branch 1448 President Jon Brackett, Branch 2394 President Matt Callnan, Branch 92 President Lisa Gashlin, Branch 92 Scribe Mike Hatem, Branch 92 Assistant Secretary Treasurer Bridget Cervisi DeRoche, Branch 92 Trustee Glen Swett.
The Bangor Daily News published the following letter from retired (but still active!) letter carrier John Curtis:
Stable and thriving communities are anchored in jobs that pay decent wages and benefits. The 71 percent of Americans who support raising the minimum wage, according to a new CNN Money poll, understand this. But the situation unfolding at FairPoint Communications shows that, if we want our communities to flourish, it’s not enough to support a pay boost for low-wage workers. We should also oppose corporations that try to slash the pay and benefits of workers who already have achieved a decent standard of living through unionization and hard-fought struggles engaged in over many years.
It often seems like the nation’s corporate elite, the 1 percent, will never be happy until most workers have been reduced to the lowest wages. The hedge fund companies that own the bulk of FairPoint are trying to achieve this low goal right now. If they succeed, our communities will lose not only good service from well-trained and dedicated communication workers, they will also lose jobs that pay decent wages that are spent in our local businesses.
If members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are forced to strike or are locked out as a result of FairPoint’s job-killing ultimatums at the bargaining table, community members should support the workers by joining them on their picket lines, by contacting legislators and legislative candidates for support and by flooding the company with demands for a fair deal at FairPoint.
From the NALC e-Activist Network:
H.R. 2291 is a done deal.
Last Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 2291, a bill to designate New York City’s Grand Central Station post office in honor of former NALC President Vincent R. Sombrotto.
Now that this great honor to Vince is official, the Postal Service will work with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the bill’s original sponsor, to prepare a dedication ceremony.
It is gratifying to see this simple yet profound honor bestowed on our cherished former president. A heartfelt “thank you” to all NALC activists whose hard work helped make this possible.
Fredric Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers
Boots on the Ground
The time is now to take action to make sure that our union brother Mike Michaud is Maine’s next Governor.
Can you join us for one door to door canvass this month to talk to voters about Mike and our other endorsed candidates?
SIGN UP TODAY by clicking here: www.maineaflcio.org/CountMeIn
Wednesday, August 13th in Orono
- Wednesday, August 20th in Scarborough, Lewiston, Ellsworth and Damariscotta.
Can we count you in? Call us at 622-9675 for more information and to sign-up to help out.
FairPoint Actions – Tuesday the 12th
Our Brothers and Sisters at IBEW 2327 and CWA 1400 who work at FairPoint are now working without a contract, since their contract expired at midnight on August 2nd.
The workers are asking supporters like us to stand with them for informational picketing on the early morning of Tuesday, August 12th. Locations and exact times are being finalized and we will get those to you ASAP.
FairPoint has made it clear they want massive, unacceptable concessions. The unions put forward proposals that would save the company $180 million dollars, and the company flat out refused the package as a “non-starter” because they are looking for many times that in concessions.
FairPoint is not interested in anything other than making money for the Wall Street hedge funds that control it.
Above: IBEW and CWA members and supporters holding a vigil last Saturday in Portland to mark the expiration of the contract.
Join us in Orono– Summer Institute
It is not too late to register for the Summer Institute, happening the 13th and 14th in Orono! Register today by clicking here.
The Maine AFL-CIO Labor Summer Institute is a 2-day solidarity school, held in conjunction with the Maine Bureau of Labor Education, where union members come together to meet each other, learn new skills and build our power.
This year we have three great guest speakers lined up: Jeff Faux of the Economic Policy Institute, artist Robert Shetterly of Americans Who Tell the Truth, and Mike Prokosch, dynamic labor educator. All three have inspired us at past Summer Institutes and been favorites on the evaluations– so don’t miss them!
The Summer Institute will be held on August 13 & 14 at the University of Maine in Orono. Is someone from your local attending? Register today by clicking here.
Labor Summer Institute
August 13 & 14
University of Maine in Orono
Click here for more information and to register or call us directly.
We hope to see you there! Please email with any questions, or call 207 622 9675.
Labor Day Events Statewide
Don’t miss these exciting and fun events across Maine to celebrate Labor’s Day!
Sunday, August 31st
Central Maine Labor Council BBQ and Rally; 12-3 pm
Capitol Park, Augusta
Free food, games, speakers, pie eating contest
RSVP to email@example.com
Monday, September 1
Southern Maine Labor Council Labor Day Breakfast 8- 10 am (Doors open at 7 am)
Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray Street, Portland
$25 tickets (student, family, low-income rates available)
RSVP to Wayne Poland at 892-4067
Local unions encouraged to bring banners for a short march at the end
Western Maine Labor Council Free BBQs in 3 locations; 1-3:30 pm
Lewiston: IBEW 567 Hall, 238 Goddard Road
Jay: USW 14 Hall, 16 Intervale Rd
Rumford: USW 900 Hall, 232 Rt 108
(Free food, drinks and desserts provided. Optional lobsters for sale at Lewiston for $10)
Eastern Maine Labor Council BBQ and Chili Cook-off; 5-7 pm
Solidarity Center, 20 Ivers Street, Brewer
$10 Suggested donation at the door
989-4141 for more info
Heath Care is a Human Right!
Our allies at the Southern Maine Workers’ Center are hosting a Health Care is a Human Right event in Portland on Saturday, August 16th.
All Summer long volunteers with the Southern Maine Workers’ Center have been knocking on doors, going to county fairs, talking to folks at farmers’ markets and more, in order to build the power of the Maine Health Care is a Human Right campaign as part of our Strangers into Neighbors project. On August 16th they are getting their neighbors together to celebrate!
Saturday, August 16th
Noon-4pm at Deering Oaks Park, Portland (rain date is the 17th)
•Health Care is a Human Right Rally- 1-2pm
•Health Screening Clinic (Staffed by volunteers from Maine State Nurses Association) Noon-4pm
•Arts and activities
•Connecting the dots- Human Rights Teach-Ins 2-4pm
*Food served from Noon-3pm (or as long as it lasts)
•Childcare will be provided
Learn more about Strangers into Neighbors by visiting our website: http://www.maineworkers.org/strangers-to-neighbors/
To RSVP, join the Strangers into Neighbors Challenge, or volunteer on the 16th please contact Cait: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 603-897-9676
Please DO NOT park inside the park. The Farmers’ Market uses parking in the park on Saturdays. Thanks!
The photo and caption below were posted on the Fairness at Fairpoint Facebook page. (http://fairnessatfairpoint.com/) John Curtis, a retired letter carrier and editor of the Branch 391, newsletter, organized the event.
“Last night, [IBEW] 2327 members Lyn Grandmont and Todd Foster represented our unions [IBEW and CWA] at a showing of Salt of the Earth in Ellsworth, ME. The crowd was great and they did a fantastic job. A big thank you to John Curtis of the Maine State Association of Letter Carriers, who organized the event, and to Lyn and Todd for representing us so well.”
Click here to read the complete NALC Legislative Update by Kori Blalock Keller,
NALC Director of Legislative & Political Affairs. Issues discussed are the Highway Trust Fund—USPS offset, House subcommittee appropriations measure without six-day language, and the shakeup in House leadership.
from Kori Blalock Keller, NALC Director of Legislative & Political Affairs
Once again, Congress is dropping the ball on postal reform. Rather than working on legislation that fixes the crisis it created with the 2006 mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, and rather than formulating smart reforms that will allow the Postal Service to innovate and thrive in the 21st century, Congress instead focuses on counterproductive service cuts. This coming week, we face two new threats to Saturday delivery. Both are distractions from what Congress should be doing to fix the Postal Service.
Click HERE to read the complete report.
Maine AFL-CIO: Troy Jackson delivered a stirring, passionate speech at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor
(From the Maine AFL-CIO Weekly Update) Troy Jackson delivered a stirring, passionate speech at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor last weekend. It was a call for working people to stand up and stand together. Did you see it? Take a minute to watch it. Click here to watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD9GAqKX53Y
Tuesday, June 10th Maine voters have a chance to nominate State Senator Troy Jackson for U.S. Congress. As you can see from the speech, Troy has the workers of Maine as his number one priority, and he will fight for us every single day in D.C.
WE NEED YOU to help elect Troy. Can you volunteer three hours of your time between now and 8 pm Tuesday when the polls close to make sure Troy’s supporters get out to vote?
Please call us at 622-9675 or email email@example.com if you can take a shift to make sure our supporters don’t forget to get out to the polls Saturday.
Rolando: House GOP plan to aid transportation fund by degrading postal services would damage economy, not achieve goals
May 31, 2014—NALC President Fredric Rolando said the proposal by House Republican leaders to temporarily fund highway construction by degrading postal services would damage the economy while failing to achieve desired transportation goals. Click here to read President Rolando’s full statement.
Declaration promises joint efforts
Declaring that “the U.S. Postal Service is under unprecedented attack,” the four postal unions have formed an alliance to fight back to preserve America’s postal service for the benefit of the public.
Today, the U.S. Postal Service released its financial report for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, which covers the last three months of 2013. “The Postal Service figures are highly encouraging and show why the postal network must be maintained and strengthened, not degraded,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “The announced operating profit of $765 million for the first quarter is dramatic in itself—and it continues the operating profitability that began last year.” Click here to read the president’s full statement.
Today, the Senate committee with Postal Service oversight, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, finished its mark-up of the modified Carper-Coburn postal bill, S. 1486, and approved the measure by a vote of 9 to 1. “Unnecessary and damaging attacks on the Postal Service’s vital networks and its employees—such as those unfortunately included in S. 1486—would only send the USPS on a downward trajectory,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. Click here to read more.
Dec. 11, 2013—NALC grassroots activists and the American public scored a huge victory on Tuesday when efforts to include elimination of Saturday mail delivery in the emerging budget agreement for 2014 failed.
To read more on the NALC website, click here.
On December 5, 2013, low-wage fast-food workers are planning one-day strikes in 100 cities across the U.S. Support rallies will be held in an additional 100 cities, including in Ellsworth. Maine. Thursday’s action at McDonald’s is sponsored by Ellsworth’s Community Union coalition.
John Curtis, a retired letter carrier and union activist, is a contact for Community Union, and can be reached at 667-4877.
Click here to read the official Press Advisory.
Click here to view the video on YouTube.
Letter carriers, like Princeton, NJ Branch 268 member Josef Thompson (above), have begun delivering Parcel Select packages in more than 900 ZIP codes nationwide as part of a test involving Sunday delivery of packages from a major online retailer.
Click here to read the complete statement.
What do Starbucks, TJX Companies (TJ Max, Marshalls), Macy’s, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster), Sears, Yum Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), Kroger, Target, MacDonald’s, and of course Walmart, have in common? They are the ten companies that employ the most low- and minimum-wage workers while paying their CEOs obscene amounts and making billions of dollars in profit.
When is enough, enough? Apparently never if you’re in the top 1%. According to an analysis by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University, IRS figures dating to 1913 show that the top 1% collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, the most since 1927. While the 1% incomes rose 20% last year, the remaining 99% only saw an increase of 1%.
Some more facts from Emmanuel Saez, an economist from University of California, Berkeley:
Top 1% incomes grew by 31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012. Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.
Not bad for a “socialist” president.
To read more, click the links below.