Maine Workers’ Forum on Jobs

Post image for Maine Workers’ Forum on Jobs

Governor LePage toured the state asking employers about what they need, but he hasn’t done the same for workers. The Maine Workers’ Forum on Jobs brought more than 125 workers to Brewer Auditorium last Saturday to hear from labor movement leaders and tell our governor and legislators that they need to listen to workers.

Take a look at this Bangor Daily News coverage of our living mural: Unions to LePage: ‘We are Maine’s living labor history

And see Maine labor history being made in these photos of the event taken by Orson Horchler, Richard Reed and Angela Reed.

A big thanks to the event organizing committee, that made it all possible: Chris Tucker (Laborers 327), Emery Deabay (USW 1188), Ted Rippy (MSEA), Bill Murphy (BLE), Barbara Lambarida (MSNA), Jack McKay (EMLC/Worker center), Bob Toole (IBEW 1837), Heinrick Snyder (Worker Center), Angela and Richard Reed (APWU 536), Scott Cuddy (IBEW 1253), Kathy Day (MSNA), Mary and Bill Phillips (FAM), Cara Oleksyk (FAM). Additional thanks to Scott Cuddy, Chris Tucker and Cara Oleksyk for speaking at a press conference announcing the event.

Channels 2, 5, and 7 attended. Visit these links to see coverage:

Channel 5, Highlighting the Living Mural

Channel 7
Bangor Daily News

Among the speakers were Fred Redmond of the United Steelworkers, who discussed the attacks on workers happening in Maine and across the country, and Scott Gustafson of the Laborers, who spoke passinately on why union membership is important for working families. Read more about the event below.

The Maine Workers’ Forum on Jobs was sponsored by the Eastern Maine Labor Council and the Worker Center of Eastern Maine (a project of Food AND Medicine).

For more info: 989-4141 or jack (at) foodandmedicine (dot) org

Speakers:

Fred Redmond
International Vice President (Human Affairs), USW.

Elected by acclamation in 2005, Fred Redmond took office as the USW’s International Vice President (Human Affairs) on March 1, 2006.
Fred Redmond joined the Steelworkers union when he went to work at Reynolds Metals Company in McCook, Illinois, in 1973. He became an active member of Local 3911 almost immediately, serving as shop steward, grievance committee member and chairman, vice-president and three terms as president of his local union.

In 1996, Fred was appointed to the International Staff and serviced locals in District 7, in the Chicago area. In 1998, he was transferred to the union’s International Headquarters in Pittsburgh, where he developed and conducted training programs for the union’s Membership Development Department. He also reported to the President’s Office, where he was assigned to coordinate special projects, including amalgamations and assisting local unions in developing by-laws.
In 2002, Director Jim Robinson appointed Fred as Assistant Director of District 7, where he served until his election as International Vice President (Human Affairs).

In addition to his regular union duties, Fred serves as Chairman of the USW Container Industry Conference and coordinates bargaining for the USW Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Public Employees Sector.
On May 31, 2007, Fred was elected to the Board of Directors for Working America, a Community Affiliate of the AFL-CIO. He is also serves on the Board of Directors for the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) and is the Regional 6 Representative for the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU).

On August 3, 2007, Fred was elected by unanimous assent to the prestigious position of chairman of the board of directors of the A. Philip Randolph Institute at the group’s 38th national conference in Oakland, Calif.

On March 4, 2008, Fred was elected as a member to the AFL-CIO Executive Council.

On July 8, 2010 Vice President Redmond was appointed to the Board of Directors of the TransAfrica Forum.

Workshops:

Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation is meant to cover job-related illness and injury. This workshop will teach workers their rights under the workers’ compensation laws and help them navigate through the system.
Presenters: Emery Deabay is a Director on the Workers’ Compensation Board, VP of USW 1188, and VP of the EMLC. Atty. Nathan Jury has extensive experience with workers comp. cases.

Human Rights and Yes They Do Exist
Federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sex, age, color, religion, race, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation and physical or mental disability. This workshop will provide an overview of these laws and how to file a claim.
Presenters: Barbara Lambarida, National Nurses United and Bill Murphy, Bureau of Labor Education.

From Cairo to Madison to Maine! International Worker Rights and Solidarity.
Learn about international worker rights—a second social safety net—and how we can apply them in Maine.
Presenter: Bjorn Claeson, founder of Sweatfree Communities, has worked extensively on international worker rights over the past two decades.

Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment Insurance in Maine is something we earn through working, but sometimes it’s hard to get. This workshop will help laid-off workers gain the UI benefits they rightly deserve.
Presenters: Laura Binger, a graduate of Harvard Law School, has aided numerous laid off workers win thousands of dollars in UI benefits. Jack McKay is president of Eastern Maine Labor Council and Director at Food AND Medicine.

Nurses’ victory at EMMC!
Through a strike and a lockout, nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center battled for over half a year to gain better safety for patients at their hospital. Their victory, in the face of a stubborn employer, offers lessons for workers seeking to better their jobs.
Presenters: Maine State Nurses Association/ California Nurses Association/ National Nurses United

Worker Rights: Wage and Hour
Federal and state Departments of Labor oversee wage and hour laws, governing minimum wages, overtime pay, the Family Medical Leave Act and other worker protections. This workshop will aid workers in getting the pay and rights they deserve.
Presenters: Chris Tucker is an organizer with Laborers Local 327. Gary McGrane is an instructor with the Bureau of Labor Education.

The following unions and organizations presented display tables:

• American Postal Workers Local 536
• Bureau of Labor Education
• Eastern Maine Labor Council
• Environmental Health Strategies Center
• International Association of Machinists, District Lodge 4
• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 104
• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1253
• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1837
• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2327
• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 567
• Laborers Local 327
• Maine Building Trades
• Maine Equal Justice Partners
• Maine People’s Alliance
• Maine AFL-CIO
• Maine State Nurses Association, CNA/NNOC
• PICA
• Sheet Metal Workers Local 17
• United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 716
• United Steelworkers Local 1188
• Worker Center of Eastern Maine