Union Updates

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Unite-Here Local 26 members are on strike at Marriott Hotels in Boston

On Wednesday October 3, Marriott workers walked off the job at the seven Boston hotels managed by the Marriott Corporation. The Boston hospitality industry is booming and Marriott is enjoying record profits. We need to demonstrate solidarity for this critical struggle.

  • marriottstrikeAloft Boston Seaport District, 401-403 D Street Boston 02210
  • Element Boston Seaport District, 391-395 D Street Boston 02210
  • Ritz-Carlton Boston, 10 Avery Street Boston, MA 02111
  • Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St. Boston, MA 02199
  • W Boston, 100 Stuart Street Boston, MA 02116
  • The Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02116
  • Westin Boston Waterfront 425 Summer Street Boston, MA 02110


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‘Mobilize to fight for justice’

Brenda Rodrigues

Brenda Rodrigues

“With public workers’ rights under attack nationwide, it’s crucial that Local 888 members come together to educate themselves about the issues, listen to others’ experiences and mobilize to fight for justice,” said union President Brenda Rodrigues. She urged members to attend Local 888’s upcoming convention on Oct. 20.

Attendees will vote on union resolutions and attend breakout sessions geared to their particular industry/division. “The convention is an opportunity for Local 888 members who are doing the same type of work to share tips on dealing with similar issues,” said Rodrigues.

Breakout sessions may cover such areas as state workers, soldiers homes, higher education, early childhood education, municipal workers, school employees and public authorities

“The convention is a great time to get caught up on how the political process affects members and their union, and what we are doing to make a difference,” said Local 888 Secretary-Treasurer Tom McKeever. “Learn more about what your Committee on Political Action did during the primary – and what’s planned for the weeks ahead,” said McKeever, who is also the local’s political director.

Both Rodrigues and McKeever will give reports to the convention, followed by a keynote address. There will also be breakout sessions covering key issues including:

  • New Member Experience (Member Portal & Union Orientation)
  • Why We Organize
  • Political Action/GOTV
  • How Racism Divides and Harms Us All
  • Chapter Leadership Roles & Responsibilities

To pre-register, go to: http://www.seiu888.org/convention/

Local 888 Convention
Sat., Oct. 20, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Teamsters Local 170 Union Hall, 330 SW Cutoff, No. 202, Worcester. Registration opens at 9.m. This is a family-friendly event that features childcare and lunch. Pre-register by Oct. 12 to be eligible for a special door prize. Go to: http://www.seiu888.org/convention/


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Labor leader nets Lynn state rep race

VICTORY PARTY: Pete Capano, holding a sign, and his supporters – including, from left, Local 888 organizer Ian Andelman, field rep Larry Higgins and staff chief Rand Wilson – had much to celebrate on primary day.

VICTORY PARTY: Pete Capano, holding a sign, and his supporters – including, from left, Local 888 organizer Ian Andelman, field rep Larry Higgins and staff chief Rand Wilson – had much to celebrate on primary day.

Peter Capano, president of IUE-CWA 201 in Lynn, won the race for state representative in the 11th Essex District. With strong labor backing, including Local 888, the Lynn city councilor won a three-way race in a district that also includes Nahant.

Capano touted his sponsorship of a Lynn law to protect workers as one example of what it will mean to have him working as a state representative. The law prohibits contractors who violate the state’s labor laws from doing business with the city of Lynn. At the State House, Capano added, “labor won’t have to lobby me, I’ll be one of the people lobbying my fellow legislators.”

Capano criticized Democrats “who call on labor unions when they need bodies to win an election. After the election, they seem to get amnesia. I think a lot of that would change if there were more people from labor in elected office.”

His victory was part of a Democratic primary that saw progressive candidates sweep out two of the top leaders of Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s team. This was payback for the failure of the House to pass important bills on workers’ rights, health care and education issues and protections for immigrants.

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez was defeated by Nika Elgado, a former State House aide, while Majority Whip Byron Rushing lost to Jonathan Santiago, an
emergency room doctor at Boston Medical Center and SEIU member.

While the state SEIU stayed neutral in the 7th Congressional District race, the victory of Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley over incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano showed the deep sentiment for change in the Democratic Party.

For his part, Capano is part of a surge in labor candidates across the nation. Overall, this trend is being encouraged by the AFL-CIO’s Path to Power program.

Some candidates related to Local 888 fell by the wayside during the primary – but numerous others are now gearing up for the general election.

In the plus column, Local 888 endorsed David Biele of South Boston for state representative. He carried the Fourth Suffolk District in the Democratic primary.

In addition, U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, who represents the 9th Congressional District, defeated a Democratic primary challenge.

On the other hand, Local 888 member Alexcy Vega, Lawrence’s chief assessor, topped the ticket in the city but came up short overall in his Democratic primary bid for Northern Essex Register of Deeds.

Some candidates were endorsed by Local 888 fell short, including

John Drinkwater, legislative director for the state AFL-CIO, came in second in a five-person state Senate race in the First Middlesex District in Lowell.

Darrin Howell, who previously worked for SEIU Local 1199 as a political organizer, had run for state representative in the Fifth Suffolk District, which covers parts of Dorchester and Roxbury.

And Pam Gemme, a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and an SEIU Local 509 member, had run for the open 17th Worcester District.

Looking ahead, Local 888 has endorsed Diana DiZoglio. The Democratic Methuen state representative, is running for the open First Essex Senate District and will face a Republican opponent in November.

In other Massachusetts State Senate races, Local 888 endorsed:

  • Paul Feeney, incumbent, Bristol & Norfolk District
  • Jim Welch, incumbent, Hampden District
  • Karen E. Spilka, the new Senate president, who represents the Second Middlesex & Norfolk District.
  • Jamie Eldridge, the incumbent, Middlesex & Worcester District
  • Jason Lewis, incumbent, Fifth Middlesex District
  • Sal DiDomenico, incumbent, Middlesex & Suffolk District.
  • Michael Brady, incumbent, Second Plymouth & Bristol
  • David Biele, Fourth Suffolk District

The other  candidates for the state House of Representatives endorsed by Local 888 are:

  • James Hawkins, Second Bristol
  • Marjorie Decker, incumbent, 25thMiddlesex District.
  • Mike Connolly, incumbent, 26thMiddlesex District.
  • Denise Provost, incumbent, 27thMiddlesex District.
  • Christine Barber, incumbent, 34thMiddlesex District
  • Tram Nguyen, 18thEssex District
  • Michelle DuBois, 10thPlymouth District
  • Daniel Hunt, 13thSuffolk District

The union has also endorsed Steve Murphy for re-election as Suffolk County Register of Deeds.





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Holyoke stages ‘styling’ protest

MEMBERS UNITED: From left, Mary Ogar, Shelly LaClair, Tandy Thomas, Gladys Lamanilao, Angela Dickinson and Brian Murray show off their T-shirts. The certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses joined in a 'day of action.'

MEMBERS UNITED: From left, Mary Ogar, Shelly LaClair, Tandy Thomas, Gladys Lamanilao, Angela Dickinson and Brian Murray show off their T-shirts. The certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses joined in a ‘day of action.’

Local 888 members at the Holyoke Soldiers Home held a T-shirt “day of action” on Sept. 21. In a display of solidarity, the overwhelming majority of workers that day wore union T-shirts in protest of chronic understaffing at the facility.

Their action was in support of providing quality care to the veterans, while demanding greater respect for the workers who care for them.

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Scout’s honor holds key for Emerson chapter chair

Dennis Levine

Dennis Levine

Dennis Levine, a computer systems security administrator, is the newly elected Local 888 chapter chair for Emerson College. He’s been at the school going on five years.

Q: What do you like about your job in particular?
A. When I came to Emerson, I was looking to get into an environment that felt like more of an open atmosphere. A little more relaxed.

My job is to maintain the privacy of those who are on the network. As such, I get to meet 90 percent of the people in the college. And the team I’m working with is a fantastic group of people.

In addition, there’s a sense of purpose to working in higher education. At Emerson, we’re trying to educate young adults to be future leaders. I’m proud to be part of something bigger
Q: How did you get involved with the union drive?
A. I was against the union at first. The IT department is kind of insular. There wasn’t that high a level of pressing issues. But once the union was voted in, I started hearing stories from other departments — how management had treated other departments and individuals.
I decided to step up to the plate and be part of solving problems.
It became clear to me that without the backing of a union, management can do pretty much whatever they want. Now we can hold them accountable”
Q: What were negotiations like?
A. Thank God they’re over. It took 21 months of negotiating to win this contract. If
management had come to the table in a reasonable fashion, we could have been
finished far sooner.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I have a son, 23, and daughter, 22. I like to hike and camp. I go up north to New Hampshire with Boy Scout troops. I was a Boy Scout myself, and I’ve been involved with Boy Scouts the last 16 years. I enjoy it. I’m helping to make kids into adults.


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Lawrence disaster aid

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Local 888 member Pedro Ayala, right, helps make deliveries in Lawrence to aid victims of the natural-gas disaster that shook the area. Recovery work continues

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Local 888 member Pedro Ayala, right, helps make deliveries in Lawrence to aid victims of the natural-gas disaster that shook the area. Recovery work continues.

The SEIU State Council responded to the natural-gas disaster in Lawrence by contributing over $4,000 in lunches, pastries and other food for folks who needed it.

One person was killed and more than 80 homes were damaged by fires and explosions in the Lawrence-area disaster. That included the Lawrence home of Local 888 member Carlos Morel’s daughter – which was blown off its foundation.

Pablo Ruiz, of SEIU Community Action, worked with SEIU volunteers including Diana Richard and Monica Cannon-Grant to take the food up to the Merrimack Valley. Local 888 members helped volunteers to come up with locations to distribute the aid over the weekend of Sept. 15. SEIU members and leaders from the various locals then gave out water, juice and bag lunches to people who were just then being allowed to walk back to their South Lawrence homes to retrieve vital possessions, such as medications.

In addition, volunteers helped to feed folks who were forced out of their homes but were staying unexpectedly in Lawrence with family and friends due to the emergency. Volunteers also dropped off things at the Lawrence Senior Center.

“We were able to bring in some much-needed supplies,” said Ruiz. “Distributing socks, towels, underwear, personal hygiene items and pillows was very appreciated.”

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888 gear along for charity ride

PEDAL POWER: With her 888 logo on her helmet, Carolyn Carey is ready to take part in a Cape fundraising ride for the WE CAN group.

PEDAL POWER: With her 888 logo on her helmet, Carolyn Carey is ready to take part in a Cape fundraising ride for the WE CAN group.

Sporting a Local 888 logo on her bike helmet,
Executive Board member Carolyn Carey was part of a team of 25 who took part in a Cape Cod charity bike ride to raise money for WE CAN, the Harwich-based nonprofit Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking.

“It’s a wonderful organization,” said Carey, who works for the town of Harwich. “WE CAN stands up for what’s fair and equitable. Just like our union, it tries to make every aspect of life more equitable.”

WE CAN partners with other Cape Cod agencies to provide
a wide range of services to women and families struggling with such issues as domestic violence, substance abuse or a life crisis.

The WE CAN charity team, which set a goal of raising $32,500, was part of the larger Last Gasp Cape Cod Charitable FunRaisers event, which goes from Sandwich all the way to Provincetown. The Last Gasp gets its name from a steep hill toward the end of the ride. The goal is to get up the hill without getting off the bike.

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Day for honoring workers

LABOR DAY IN LAWRENCE: SEIU members, staff and friends were on hand for the Bread and Roses Festival.

LABOR DAY IN LAWRENCE: SEIU members, staff and friends were on hand for the Bread and Roses Heritage Festival.

Local 888 members marked Labor Day, which honors workers in a variety of ways. Members took part in the 34th annual Bread and Roses Heritage Festival on Labor Day on the Lawrence Common with an informational booth at the festival.

All ages came out to celebrate the Labor Day festival. Children took in pony rides, balloons and a reptile exhibit. Entertainment ranged from a local brass band to a multimedia production, performed by poets, dancers and actors.

For her part, Teresa Riordan, a Local 888 E. Board member, talked up the importance of Labor Day with her fellow Westwood town workers. She noted the upsurge in union activism seen across the country – including teachers strikes in such “right to work” (for less) states as West Virginia and Arizona.

In fact, a recent Pew Research Center study that found that a majority of young people have a favorable view of labor. And, the numbers of union members grew last year by 262,000. Three-quarters of those new recruits were under the age of 35.

A surge in activism among young people has also fueled the Fight for $15, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo protests movements.

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Moment of Silence

888 In Memory

The officers and staff of Local 888 extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Joseph Lazzerini, whose father, Kevin James Emerson, 55, of Attleboro, has died. Lazzerini is a former political organizer for Local 888


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Coming Attractions

888-calendar logo

Public Forum: Increasing Federal Investment in Public Higher Education

Thurs., Oct. 4, 4 p.m – 6 p.m. Small Science Auditorium, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd. http://masspeaceaction.org/event/increasing-federal-investment-in-public-higher-education-invest-in-minds-not-missiles/

UMass Dartmouth Labor Education Center’s 43rd Anniversary Banquet

Thurs., Oct. 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Venus de Milo banquet hall, 75 Grand Army of the Republic Highway, Swansea

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Meet the Candidates for Governor!

Meet the Candidates for Governor at the 2018 SEIU Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Interviews
Sponsored by SEIU State Council, in partnership with Locals 509, 32BJ, 1199 UHE, 888, and 3FO, and SEIU Community ActionJay_Gonzalez

Charlie BakerWhen: Saturday, September 29, 2018
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Where: 1199 SEIU Headquarters
108 Myrtle Street, Quincy, MA 02171

Meet Democrat Jay Gonzalez and Republican Charlie Baker!

We encourage our members to attend — Let your voices be heard!

This Gubernatorial Election Forum is open to members only.

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Local 888 leaders say: “Merger unnecessary, we’re ready for open shop”

At the time of the Supreme Court’s “Janus vs AFSCME” decision in late June, SEIU International Union (IU) staff questioned whether Local 888 would be able to survive in the post-Janus open shop environment.

No MergerThe IU suggested Local 888 consider merging with other Massachusetts locals. Leaders of Local 888 spoke affirmatively and with one voice: “Any merger would be counter-productive and premature.”  Instead, Local 888’s leaders and Executive Board took steps — outlined below – and convinced the International Union that a merger was unnecessary. 

The Executive Board pledged to implement Together We Rise protocols and establish seven key benchmarks for our success:

  • Recruit hundreds of new rank-and-file leaders
  • Ensure that all new hires receive union orientation and are asked to join
  • Provide a rapid response to any member who wants to drop out of the union
  • Increase the number of members using our online membership portal
  • Define six Local 888 jurisdictional departments and creating new “representation teams” to staff them
  • Continue to make progress on organizing new bargaining units, especially with higher ed clerical, technical and professional workers.

The Executive Board also committed to work cooperatively with other locals to improve services and achieve administrative cost savings. We are currently in discussions with Local 509 about collaborating on politics and steward trainings.

Now it is incumbent on the leaders and staff of Local 888 to implement the benchmarks and begin working cooperatively with the other locals.

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