Union Updates

For press inquires or to share your story please contact media@seiu888.org

Fight for $15 in the streets and at the statehouse

On Nov. 29 thousands of workers from across the United States took to the streets in a movement for fairness and justice.

SEIU Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer was arrested at the McDonald's in Cambridge along with 33 other fast food and labor leaders.

SEIU Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer was arrested at the McDonald’s in Cambridge along with 33 other fast food and labor leaders.

Please consider joining this historic campaign for a $15 statewide minimum wage by taking a pledge to stand with underpaid workers fighting for basic rights. In Massachusetts, Local 888 members and staff took the streets with fast food workers in front of McDonalds to demand that corporations stop paying poverty wages. Thirty-four workers; community, faith, and labor leaders; and elected officials including State Senator Jamie Eldridge committed civil disobedience and were arrested. Hundreds rallied outside of Logan Airport to demand $15 an hour and union rights for airport workers. In the afternoon, we gathered at the State House to announce that Raise Up Massachusetts will be launching a legislative campaign for a $15 statewide minimum wage.

SEIU Local 888 is part of an ambitious campaign to raise the wages for the thousands of hard-working underpaid workers across the Commonwealth, who make up a third of the state’s workforce. If you agree, pledge your support and join the campaign today.

Check out Local 888’s Facebook page to see photos from the day of action! Read more about the Day of Action here.

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Serious threats to health care emerge

Working families value the safety and security of their health coverage more than ever. Yet despite broad support, congressional Republicans are moving to try and rush through a plan that would take away health care from more than 22 million Americans – with no plan to replace it.

Congress needs to work together to fix what’s broken in the Affordable Care Act to make it work better for everyone, not simply tear the whole thing down.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act without any replacement would result in all sorts of unintended consequences that will harm seniors, children and working families.

The drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act is just the first step in Republican plans to cut Medicaid and turn Medicare into a voucher system. This would plunge our entire health care system and American households into a crisis at a time when we can least afford it.

  • Republicans want to take away health care from 22 million people.
  • Many seniors, children and people with disabilities who get their healthcare through Medicaid would be left to fend for themselves.
  • Anyone with a preexisting condition will go back to being at the mercy of insurance companies.
  • Their actions would destroy Medicare and increase seniors’ drug costs.

For a detailed briefing paper on “Threats to health care in 2017 and beyond,” email rwilson@seiu888.org or call 617 241-3300.

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Member Spotlight on Jonathan Dudley

Jonathan Dudley, a Gardner Head Start teacher with the Montachusetts Opportunity Council, wanted to show that when workers in North Central Mass. take a stand, they do not stand alone.  After learning about a lock-out at the hardware chain Aubuchon, Dudley launched an online fundraiser. Within a week, more than $1500 in donations from across the country flooded in.

Jonathan Dudley (at right), congratulates a locked-out Aubuchon Hardware warehouse worker just prior to giving him a Thanksgiving turkey.

Jonathan Dudley (at right), congratulates a locked-out Aubuchon Hardware warehouse worker just prior to giving him a Thanksgiving turkey.

“I was really proud that workers at Aubuchon were standing up to outsourcing, but found it heart breaking that they were locked out just a few weeks before the Thanksgiving Holiday and with winter on the way,” explained Dudley. “I believe in solidarity, and that means showing up for each other when it counts.”

Dudley works with members of Teamsters Local 170 who drive the buses that transport children to the preschool where he is a teacher.  He reached out to the Teamsters and his own union to support his idea to have an online fundraiser to buy Thanksgiving turkeys for each of the locked-out warehouse workers. The locked-out Teamsters added the fundraiser to their Facebook page, and word about the effort spread.

The lock-out began because union members rejected new contract language that would have facilitated out sourcing. On Nov. 18, Teamsters Local 170 and Aubuchon reached an agreement to end the twelve-day lock-out. Workers now have a three-year contact that offers ample protections for good local jobs. Dudley hopes the community support represented by the turkey fundraiser helped encourage Aubuchon to settle with the union.

Jonathan Dudley (at far right) was joined by Teamster Local 170 leaders and Winchester labor activist Ken Marian at the Thanksgiving turkey distribution.

Jonathan Dudley (at far right) was joined by Teamster Local 170 leaders and Winchester labor activist Ken Marian at the Thanksgiving turkey distribution.

“Nobody wanted to see the Aubuchon workers eating Thanksgiving dinner on the picket-line or consumers refusing to shop at Aubuchon stores on Black Friday,” says Dudley. “I wanted the locked-out Teamsters members to know that the community had their back.”

SEIU Local 888 which unites area child care and Head Start workers; Gardner Department of Public Works employees made an organizational contribution, as did a Communication Workers local from upstate New York.  Head Start employees from Athol to Fitchburg took up a collection at work, and so did workers at the Verizon call center in Gardner.  The call center workers are veterans of the seven-week long Verizon strike that ended last June.

“It made me so hopeful to hear that the IBEW members at Verizon were taking up a collection,” says Dudley. “They took a stand against outsourcing and won, now they’re supporting local warehouse workers to do the same. This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for solidarity!”

News articles about the turkey distribution appeared in the Sentinel & Enterprise and the Gardner News.

More photos of Local 888’s Jonathan Dudley and Teamsters Local 170 leaders handing out turkeys are posted online here.

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Just Cause Eviction law gains support from Mayor Walsh

The Right to Remain coalition announced that Mayor Walsh is supporting the Jim Brook Stabilization Act that would provide new homeowner and tenant protections.

The Boston City Council is expected to hold a hearing and vote on the bill in December.

The proposed bill is named after fallen activist Jim Brooks, a long-time supporter of housing, disability, and LGBTQ rights.  Jim Brooks dedicated many of his last years trying to stop wrongful evictions and build a movement for housing justice where people come before profit.

Winning passage of the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act will make it harder for those developers who want to flip real estate with evictions while increasing rents in Boston.

Read the Boston Globe story here.

If you live in the city of Boston, call 617-635-4000 to reach your City Councilor.

Learn more about Just Cause Eviction at www.justcauseboston.org, or on Facebook.




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Be sure to use a membership survey before your contract expires

Contract Survey

Example of a Local 888 contract survey

About one-third of Local 888’s contracts will expire in 2017.  If your contract expires in 2017, a contract survey can be a useful tool to begin preparing for negotiations:

  • A contract survey can give your union bargaining team useful information and help build unity on the job.
  • Surveys can help get members involved. Filling out a survey is an easy first step to begin building wider participation in your contract campaign.
  • The survey is an opportunity to update membership contact information with cell phone numbers and personal email addresses.
  • The response to the survey helps track where support for the union is strong and where you need to do more organizing. Similarly, the survey is an opportunity to identify and evaluate workplace leaders who motivate members to fill out and return the surveys.
  • Finally, the survey results provide a foundation of data to strengthen your committee’s positions at the bargaining table.

Sample contract surveys are available from your field rep or from myunion@seiu888.org.

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Members meet with Sen. Mike Brady

On November 22, members of SEIU Local 888 and SEIU Community Action in Brockton joined with Senator Mike Brady to talk about the recent election results in Massachusetts and across the country.

SCA Community Forum with Senator Mike Brady 2

Community activists and union members met with Senator Mike Brady in Brockton.

Over 30 community and union members came together to talk about the victories we have achieved and the work that is ahead of us. Even in the face of an election with disastrous consequences, people were fired up and ready to fight for $15, immigration reform, racial justice, as well as child care and long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities.

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Coming Attractions

MCAN Party Honoring Chuck Collins and Mel King
Wed, December 7, 6pm – 8pm
Third Sector New England Inc, 89 South St #700, Boston, MA 02111

In honor of both Mel King and Chuck Collins and the remarkable contributions they have made to promoting justice and equity in Massachusetts, we hope you will attend “Carry it On: MCAN’s Annual Celebration”!

calendarCelebrate the Season with the North Shore Labor Council
Tues. Dec. 13, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
34 Thistle Street, Lynn, MA 01905
RSVP to northshorelaborcouncil@gmail.com or 781-595-2538

SEIU 888 Executive Board meeting
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 10:00 AM
SEIU Local 888,  25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree

2017 National Single Payer Strategy Conference
Jan. 13 – 15, 2017, New York, NY
Join hundreds of union activists and leaders for the National Single Payer Strategy Conference in New York City, January 13 through 15, 2017.The conference is jointly sponsored by the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Healthcare NOW and One Payer States. As workers everywhere fight to maintain decent healthcare benefits, now is the time to win single-payer Medicare for All.

Take advantage of the early registration fee and register today. http://tinyurl.com/zfnxugy  Scholarships are available. Contact organizers@laborforsinglepayer.org if you wish to apply.

SAVE the DATE: WILD 31st Annual Summer Institute
June 23, 24 and 25, 2017
Bridgewater State University

Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is a multiracial, multicultural women’s organization founded in 1986 by women labor activists and labor educators to empower women to become effective leaders in their workplaces, unions, communities and in the Massachusetts labor movement.

Scholarships for Local 888 members to attend are available. Contact Local 888 Secretary-Treasurer Brenda Rodrigues at brodrigues@seiu888.org or call 617 241-3300

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AFRAM Massachusetts 1st Annual Mardi Gras Ball

SEIU AFRAM Massachusetts
1st Annual Mardi Gras Ball
AFRAM logoSaturday, December 3 at 7:00 pm
Entertainment by Steel Entertainment
Tickets $10.00
Call Jeanie for tickets 617-821-2122
AFRAM Fundraiser. Please come out and support.
108 Myrtle St, Quincy, MA 02171-1728

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Raise Up Massachusetts Legislative Announcement and Rally

RUM_Email_BannerJoin the Raise Up coalition on Tuesday, November 29th at 1:30 PM at the State House Grand Staircase, 2nd Floor, for an important legislative announcement.

We will be uniting together to hold our legislators accountable to building a Massachusetts economy that works for all of us.

Join hundreds of workers from across the Commonwealth as we stand together.

What: Raise Up Massachusetts Legislative Announcement and Rally
When: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 at 1:30PM to 2:30PM
Where: Grand Staircase, 2nd Floor, Massachusetts State House http://action.raiseupma.org/page/s/legislative-annoucement


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Office closed for Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgivingIn observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Local 888’s office will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2016.  The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.



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Local 888 members are stepping up to help locked out Teamsters at Aubuchon Hardware

Local 888 member Jonathan Dudley works as a head start teacher at the Montachusett Opportunity Council.  Jonathan is looking for help to raise enough money to provide Thanksgiving turkeys for 65 locked-out warehouse workers and truck drivers who work at the Aubuchon Hardware distribution center in Westminster, MA.

“The workers — members of Teamsters Local 170 —  are standing up for good, local jobs and refusing to go along with new contract language that would outsource their jobs,” said Dudley.  “Of course they’re not taking it lying down, there is a robust picket up in front of the warehouse.”

Locked out Teamsters at Aubuchon Hardware

Locked out Teamsters at Aubuchon Hardware

“With the holidays right around the corner and winter weather on its way, these workers need our solidarity!” added Dudley.

Use the link below to make a contribution towards a Thanksgiving turkey for each of the locked out workers.

Members who use Facebook can “like” the “We Support Locked Out Aubuchon Teamsters” Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/AubuchonTeamsters
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Trump victory: “More unity needed”

“Congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump and his supporters,” said Mark DelloRusso, President of Local 888. “His election victory – and the level of support for his campaign in Massachusetts – shows just how out of touch the political elite of both parties are with average Americans.”

The election will likely have real consequences for Local 888. “Our members need to stay united now more than ever,” DelloRusso continued. “We need to keep organizing and fighting for a better future for working families. We can’t give in to hateful rhetoric or greedy corporate interests.”

“We will build on the momentum we’ve achieved through the Fight for $15 and by resoundingly defeating Question 2 to continue making progress for our members and for all working families.”

Local 888 members and staff traveled to New Hampshire on three weekends in October to campaign for Clinton and other pro-working family candidates.

Local 888 members and staff traveled to New Hampshire on three weekends in October to campaign for Clinton and other pro-working family candidates.

Local 888 supported 18 candidates in the election and votes on two ballot questions. Five state senators and ten state rep. candidates won their races. Three challengers supported by Local 888 who aimed to upset incumbents lost.  Click here to see a full list. www.seiu888.org/copa/2016-political-endorsements/

Local 888 opposed Question 2 to lift the cap on charter schools and supported Question 5 for the Community Preservation Act in Boston. The “No” vote on Question 2 was 62 percent. The Community Preservation Act in Boston passed with 73 percent support.

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