In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 201
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

IBEW 1837 Members Help Pack Union Hall for Employee Free Choice Act Training



 

January 16, 2009 - More than a dozen IBEW 1837 members from both states participated in a daylong activist training conducted by the Maine AFL-CIO to support passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Almost 75 union members from 20 Internationals and 30 local unions attended and are now ready to talk to their co-workers and other people in their communities about this important legislation.

Training participants learned all about why today’s labor laws are broken and unfair to workers trying to join a union. Through dramatic presentations, role-playing, and cold, hard facts, IBEW 1837 members saw how the cards are stacked against workers fighting for the benefits and protections of a union contract.

“The training was excellent,” said Sam Godin, a CMP Lineworker. “I had a shady idea of the Employee Free Choice Act before, but I have a much better grasp now and I’m able to explain it.”

“I’m looking forward to making presentations to our union E-Board and asking members to write letters to Congress at our local unit meeting,” said Pat Cote, an Electrician Lead Worker for Maine Public Service.

With the urgent need to strengthen our economy by taking immediate steps to create good jobs, the Employee Free Choice Act remains the top legislative priority for all branches of the labor movement. For those new jobs to build prosperity for all of us and help rebuild the middle class, we have to increase and protect every worker’s right to form and join a union.

People struggling to make things better for themselves can’t borrow their way to prosperity – they need to be able to bargain their way there. Passing the Employee Free Choice Act is critical to giving more workers the opportunity to bargain for a better life.

Workers are frequently illegally fired or intimidated by their bosses to discourage them from joining a union. With the Employee Free Choice Act, we can finally start to level the playing field between corporations and the people who work for them. The Employee Free Choice Act will:

  • Allow workers to form a union if a majority wants one
  • Increase penalties against companies who abuse workers trying to form a union
  • Guarantee that workers who form a union will get a contract

Big Business and anti-union front groups are gearing up to spend $200 million to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act so corporations can keep all the power in the workplace and block workers from having the security of a contract. When the Employee Free Choice Act comes before Congress later this year, labor unions and our supporters will come under attack as never before.

We need to stand with the elected representatives who are on our side to let them know how much we appreciate their support. And we need to let our co-workers, families and friends know that the Employee Free Choice Act will protect the rights of workers while giving us the best opportunity to turn around our ailing economy, and help make that economy work for all of us. For more information, go towww.employeefreechoiceact.org.

“I think we have to get the Employee Free Choice Act passed to help grow our union – that’s the first step,” said Mark Henderson, a lineworker for CMP.

 

In addition to Brothers Henderson, Cote and Godin, other IBEW 1837 members in attendance included: Bob Toole, Bangor Hydro; Bob Walsh, New Hampshire Electric Co-op; Damon Miller and Tony Zeli, WGME-TV; Tom Carpenter and Rick Simons, PSNH; Ray Colello, IBEW 1837 President and FPL; Cynthia Phinney, IBEW 1837 Business Manager; Tom Ryan, IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager; Bill Dunn, IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager; and Matt Beck, IBEW 1837 Organizer.