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Beat Report: 1/19/12 Finance Committee Meeting of the Whole

Posted by a 11:39 am on January 21, 2012

Mayor Curtatone announced memo of agreement with Firefighters Local 76 deferring retroactive payments to next fiscal year. This agreement means no layoffs this fiscal year (including closing West Branch Library). Asked for executive session to discuss next steps, and continuing negotiations with fire alarm operators.


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Posted in Beat Reporter, City Finances, Davis Square, Ward 6, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Occupy Wall Street movement spreads to Somerville

Posted by a 11:36 pm on December 14, 2011

Local residents rallied at the Bank of America on Saturday, December 10 pushing for changes to reign in corporate greed and address growing inequality in both Somerville and the United States. The rally was a kickoff event for Occupy Somerville.…


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Posted in Announcements, Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

Trader Joe’s has Social Justice Problems

Posted by a 11:31 pm on December 8, 2011

Surely there are many Somervillians among the many patrons and fans of Traders Joe national (specialty) retail grocery stores. While of little comparison to the retail behemoth in the news these days, Trader Joe’s is not without its problems. The following notice may be of interest.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Consumer Money Saving, Events, Teens, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Passing the Local Hiring Ordinance Will Help Raise Labor Standards in Somerville

Posted by a 9:07 pm on November 26, 2011

Somerville’s economic development policies should place the highest priority on creating the good jobs our community needs.…


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Government Reform, Politics, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Walmart Coming to Somerville?

Posted by a 8:25 am on November 11, 2011

Join us for a discussion on how this will affect the community and what you can do about it!


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Posted in Announcements, Development and Zoning, Politics, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

MaxPac adds insult to injury by not hiring any local people

Posted by a 12:33 pm on July 25, 2011

Not hiring any local people (or making a good faith effort to do so) is an insult to our community. It should be unacceptable to the planning board, the Board of Alderman and all of our elected officials.


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Magoun Square, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

IKEA Object of Social Justice Action

Posted by a 8:15 am on June 30, 2011

The following email was sent to me as a subscriber to Change.org. I have forwarded the body of the notice, and you will find the link to the online petition in the text of the story. It brings to mind the maxim that if it sounds too good to be true (as with the detente reached by parties to  Assembly Sq. development/IKEA), it probably is.…


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Posted in Announcements, Assembly Square, Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

2/17 : Speak Out for Somerville Jobs at BoA Public Hearing on MaxPac

Posted by a 10:40 am on February 16, 2011

More than 50 Somerville residents signed a petition requesting a hearing by the Board of Alderman on union jobs and local hiring.

The hearing will be at 6:00 PM on February 17. There will be a short rally beforehand at 5:45 PM.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Events, Politics, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Rite Aid: “You’re Breaking Our Hearts!”

Posted by a 10:36 am on

A half dozen community supporters greeted shoppers at Rite Aid’s Davis Sq. store in Somerville on Valentine’s Day to focus public attention on the company’s culture of corporate greed and its assault employees’ health care benefits and job rights.…


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Davis Square, Economy & Poverty, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

2/17/11 BOA Committee on Legislative Matters Meeting as a Whole

Posted by a 5:21 pm on January 30, 2011

This hearing will receive public input on the use of union labor at the MaxPac site.


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Posted in All Ages, Beat Reporter, Development and Zoning, Events, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

1/25/11 BOA Committee on Legislative Matters Meeting

Posted by a 9:21 pm on January 16, 2011

This meeting will discuss a petition for a public hearing on the use of union labor at the MaxPac site, along with a home-rule petition to streamline administration.


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Posted in All Ages, Beat Reporter, Development and Zoning, Environment and Open Space, Events, Neighborhoods and Squares, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

1/6/11 Planning Board Meeting — Beat Report

Posted by a 5:12 pm on January 9, 2011

Tonight the Planning Board voted approval for the MaxPak apt/condo project to go ahead. The unions plan to picket Lowell St. near the VNA.


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Posted in Beat Reporter, Workers' Rights | 11 Comments »

Campaign sets Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 6:00 PM to plan next steps to win jobs at MaxPac

Posted by a 12:15 pm on January 3, 2011

Union members and community activists concerned about jobs at the future MaxPac development on Clyde Street held a meeting on Jan 4th.


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Posted in Announcements, Events, Housing, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

“Without Illegal Aliens, There is No restaurant Business”

Posted by a 4:39 pm on December 28, 2010

That’s a pretty bold statement made by Phantom Gourmet on facebook.

A firestorm was ignited when a recent front page Boston Globe story reported that Upper Crust Pizza, a rapidly-growing local chain, hired and exploited illegal immigrant workers from Brazil.


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Labor and community groups petition Board of Aldermen for hearing on MaxPac jobs

Posted by a 4:58 pm on December 26, 2010

The groups fighting for the inclusion of local residents and union jobs on the proposed MaxPac development petitioned the Board of Aldermen on December 22 to hold a hearing on the Covenant language for union jobs that KSS Realty signed with the City of Somerville.


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Posted in Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Politics, Press Release, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Server or Servant?

Posted by a 3:58 pm on December 2, 2010

I love getting thoughtful emails from readers with questions, feedback, suggestions and stories. I received the following email a few days ago, and it raises an interesting question.

I read your blog all the


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Posted in Economy & Poverty, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Picket line and rally for Somerville jobs

Posted by a 4:07 pm on November 28, 2010

Residents of Somerville concerned about the development of the old MaxPak paper factory where 199 units of new housing are being built will picket and rally for jobs at the entrance to the site (56-61 Clyde Street) in Somerville, MA on Thursday, Dec 2 from 6:00 to 9:00 AM.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Events, Housing, Politics, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

Honk! festival 2010

Posted by a 12:03 am on October 12, 2010

Here is a link to my pictures from the 5th annual Honk! festival.  Many of the pictures show members of the Red Bandana Brigade marching in the Honk! parade from Davis Sq. to Harvard Sq…


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Posted in Arts and Culture, Davis Square, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Labor Day thoughts (with link to commercial for working people)

Posted by a 3:03 pm on September 4, 2010

Labor Day is coming up. I hope all everyone gets a chance to enjoy some time with their friends and families.

This is the holiday brought to you by the labor movement. What is the labor movement?


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Politics, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Go for the Enchilada

Posted by a 11:37 am on June 22, 2010

“In budget-cutting season, politics can be brutal,” wrote the author of a recent View from Prospect Hill column in the Somerville News.  With an $8.1 million budget gap, it is imperative that the city cut…


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Posted in City Finances, Health Care, Workers' Rights | 13 Comments »

Rally for school custodians, Tuesday 6/22 @ 6 pm

Posted by a 12:19 pm on June 21, 2010

I would like to let people in Somerville and anywhere else know about a rally against the mayor and his wrong budget choices.

WHEN:  June 22, 2010 6 pm

WHERE:  City Hall, 93


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Schools and Youth, Workers' Rights | 4 Comments »

Rally to support custodians and municipal employees

Posted by a 10:23 pm on June 20, 2010

Jackie Lawrence of the Somerville Teachers Association extends an invitation to rally to support our fellow Somerville employees whose jobs are in peril.

————————————————–

Support our Good, Hardworking People

Despite the…


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Posted in Events, Special, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Unfair Cuts Hit School Custodians in Somerville and Boston

Posted by a 9:01 pm on June 13, 2010

I am a school custodian for the City of Somerville.  I see a Boston Herald article that Boston is cutting 83 school custodians.

Reading the comments ( there are 249 comments so far!) I see that many of what these other people are saying is true…


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Posted in City Finances, Economy & Poverty, Schools and Youth, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

privatization of school custodians

Posted by a 9:28 pm on May 31, 2010

On May 25, 2010 my union received a letter that stated that as of the new fiscal year the school custodians would be privatized out… The mayor mentions that he does not want to cut public safety or education but this mayor has packed the police and fire with all his friends…


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Posted in City Finances, Politics, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Somerville play exposes dangers for day laborers

Posted by a 9:37 pm on May 16, 2010

Immigrants who gather at Foss Park each morning as early as 5 am looking for work as day laborers are the subject of a new play that will enjoy its community premiere on Friday, May 21st at the Black Box Theater at the Elizabeth Peabody House, 277 Broadway. The program begins at 7:30 pm.

The new play, “They Don’t Tell You Anything!” will be performed as part of an evening of theater, stories and conversation about the struggles and challenges that many Somerville residents face after they are picked up by contractors each morning to paint or perform demolition work. Written by playwright and English teacher Meryl Becker, the play will be performed by student actors from the Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE).


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Posted in All Ages, Arts and Culture, Civil and Human Rights, Events, Immigration, Politics, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

FW Russell Trash Contract Reveals Options for Aldermen

Posted by a 12:27 am on April 7, 2010

Through a public records request, I recently obtained scanned copies of the City’s trash contracts with the FW Russell company. The fine print challenges the claim made at the March 2nd BOA Legislative Matters Committee meeting by former City Solicitor, John Gannon, that only the Mayor has the power to break a contract.…


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Posted in Investigative Reports, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Workers' Rights | 9 Comments »

Support Stop & Shop Workers – Fri., Feb. 26, 5:00 p.m.

Posted by a 11:35 am on February 25, 2010

You can show your support for workers at the Somerville Stop and Shop by joining Massachusetts Jobs with Justice in handing out fliers on Friday at 5:00 – corner of McGrath Highway and Mystic Avenue.…


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Posted in Events, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

our trash vendor

Posted by a 4:17 pm on January 21, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office has reached an agreement with five Somerville waste disposal companies, collectively known as Russell, and its corporate officers… to pay $70,000 to 352 current and former employees as well as a $20,000 penalty to the Commonwealth to resolve allegations that the company violated the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws. In addition, Russell has agreed to a two-year monitoring and compliance plan.


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Posted in Announcements, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Strike Alert! Support Angelica Workers!

Posted by a 1:56 pm on December 13, 2009

About 450 laundry workers at Angelica Textile in Somerville went out on strike Thursday… negotiations have been focused on obtaining quality affordable healthcare, well-funded pension benefits, and living wages. Come support these hard working employees as they stand up for a fair contract!


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Posted in Economy & Poverty, Health Care, Workers' Rights | 3 Comments »

Despite unresolved allegations against FW Russell, City renews waste disposal contract

Posted by a 5:15 pm on November 27, 2009

Last week, the Board of Aldermen extended the City’s contract with FW Russell for another year plus 5 more under a new contract despite concerns stemming from a 2-year-old investigation by AG Coakley’s office into the waste disposal company’s labor practices. The company was selected for offering the lowest price among 4 bids procured by the City this past year.…


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Posted in Investigative Reports, Media, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

The Pittsburg Precedent

Posted by a 10:01 pm on November 19, 2009

Pittsburgh floats a sales tax on college tuition!


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Posted in City Finances, Government Reform, Schools and Youth, Traffic & Parking, Tufts, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Duplicity: Long for Deval

Posted by a 3:09 pm on September 23, 2009

Hyatt or Tufts, Deval’s choice is the hotter bed.


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Posted in Politics, Tufts, Workers' Rights | 12 Comments »

Somerville Actions to Support Rite Aid Workers

Posted by a 1:20 pm on August 10, 2009

Rite Aid warehouse workers in Lancaster, California need our support. Before workers voted to form a union in 2008, Rite Aid committed dozens of unfair labor practices. And since then, in an effort to prevent them from achieving a first contract, the warehouse workers have faced continuing anti-union terror.


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Somerville youth lead effort to halt teen injuries, death

Posted by a 3:18 pm on April 30, 2009

With summer just around the corner and tens of thousands of young people entering the workforce in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed May “Safe Jobs for Youth Month” to focus attention on preventing workplace injuries and deaths.…


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Environment and Open Space, Health Care, Public Health & Safety, Schools and Youth, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Somerville Teachers Association endorses H.R. 676, the national “Medicare for All” bill

Posted by a 3:15 pm on April 22, 2009

The Board of Directors of the Somerville Teachers Association (STA) voted to endorse HR 676 at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 7.

“Health care reform is finally on the national agenda,” said Linda Vitiello, President of the Somerville Teachers Association. “We are excited to be part of a national grassroots movement for Medicare for All and H.R. 676 and to join with so many other labor organizations that support it.”…


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Posted in Announcements, Civil and Human Rights, Health Care, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

Protest at Rite Aid drugstore focuses on employer abuse and the need for the Employee Free Choice Act

Posted by a 9:57 pm on April 5, 2009

A small group of union members converged on the Rite Aid drugstore in Davis Sq. on Friday, April 3 to condemn the company’s abuse of workers’ rights and urge Congress to pass the “Employee Free Choice Act” — a law backed by President Barack Obama that would better protect employees who want to form unions by limiting employer interference in the process.…


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Posted in Civil and Human Rights, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

On 4/3: protest Davis Sq Rite Aid to pass Employee Free Choice Act

Posted by a 5:59 pm on April 2, 2009

Rite Aid has been abusing the rights of employees – and provides a “textbook example” of why Congress should pass the “Employee Free Choice Act,” reform legislation that would better protect employees who want to form unions by limiting employer interference in the process.


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Posted in Announcements, Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

A Dialogue with Youth on Welcoming Massachusetts

Posted by a 11:33 pm on January 23, 2009

This event is an opportunity for Somerville youth and community partners to meet in person, build community, and discuss how Somerville can become a safer and welcoming place for everyone. At the event, our youth members will present personal stories, and sit in small dialogue groups with adults.


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Posted in Announcements, Immigration, Neighborhoods and Squares, Schools and Youth, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

Get Up, Stand Up After the Election

Posted by a 6:57 pm on November 10, 2008

One week ago, Somerville went overwhelmingly for Obama-Biden. To keep the promises made by the Obama campaign, the Obama Administration will need all the help it can get. We in Somerville should do our part to help–and to keep the politicians honest.

Here is a very partial and incomplete list of campaign promises that I think Obama should keep:


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Posted in Economy & Poverty, Health Care, Housing, Immigration, Politics, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

BG: Immigrant workers are more vulnerable to occupational injuries

Posted by a 12:12 am on October 13, 2008

From an Oct 12th article on Boston.com: Romulo Santos of Somerville headed off to work Sept. 9 at a Wal-Mart in Walpole as usual. But that day he was electrocuted on the job. Some might consider the 47-year-old Brazilian native’s death a freak accident, but local advocates say that for many immigrant workers, the risk of injury is all too real. Tufts University, Cambridge Health Alliance, and five Somerville community groups have come together to raise awareness of occupational health risks and to teach people their rights.


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Posted in Immigration, Public Health & Safety, Workers' Rights | 10 Comments »

Info on Tufts Janitors Contract Negotiations and NEW BLOG!

Posted by a 3:21 pm on August 7, 2008

Fred Berman and Bill Bumpus interviewed a student at Tufts University about the ongoing contract negotiations between the Janitors at Tufts and the subcontractor for the school. If you would like to hear what Kevin Dillon has to say about the “Janitors Alliance” please click the link that will take you to the new blog for the Progressive Voices television show cablecast on Somerville Community Access Television. Channel 3 on the Comcast and RCN cable systems in Somerville.


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Posted in Media, Tufts, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Rally for Tufts Janitors

Posted by a 11:10 pm on July 23, 2008

Come out to a rally on Wednesday to tell Tufts University to respect its workers and ensure they receive the just wages and full-time work that they deserve!


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Posted in Events, Tufts, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Rally for Tufts Janitors

Posted by a 11:34 pm on July 7, 2008

SEIU 615 26 West St Boston MA 02111

For Immediate Release:

Media Contact:
Max Goldman                                  Roxana Rivera
Maxwell.Goldman@tufts.edu Rrivera@seiu615.org

Phone
W: 617-878-7559 C: 860-917-1742    W: 617-878-7458 C: 401-965-3555

Tufts Janitors and the Somerville Community Stand United

Who:     Contracted Janitors at Tufts University…


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Posted in Events, Tufts, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

National Council on DisAbility Seeks Your Input

Posted by a 11:12 pm on June 26, 2008

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is gathering public input for a study of emerging issues and trends affecting the lives of people with disabilities. Information gathered will be used in the development of NCD’s next annual progress report to the President and Congress, “National Disability Policy: A Progress Report,” which is required by Section 401(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.


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Posted in Accessibility, Arts and Culture, Government Reform, Health Care, Housing, Politics, Schools and Youth, Sports, Transportation, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Tufts University Janitors and Their Current Struggle

Posted by a 2:25 pm on May 16, 2008

Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m a full-time student at Tufts University, where I started a student group, the Jumbo Janitor Alliance. The group focuses on bringing Tufts janitors more into the Tufts community. The janitors are currently in contract negotiations with their employer, the cleaning contractor ABM/One Source.


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Posted in Health Care, Tufts, Workers' Rights | 3 Comments »