Massachusetts Union News

Fair Share Amendment Passes with 134-55 Vote at the Massachusetts House of Representatives

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:21
On June 14th the Fair Share Amendment passed in a 134-55 vote at the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Also known as the “millionaires tax,” the Fair Share Amendment is funded by a 4% tax on yearly incomes over $1,000,000. The tax is estimated to generate roughly 2 billion dollars in revenues, with money being allocated to social support systems and community investment. Such investments would lead to more affordable higher education, improved K-12 public schools, as well as better public transportation, roads, and bridges. During the debate on the floor of the House, detractors of the amendment faulted it for presupposing that the money collected will actually serve to improve social support systems and communities. One representative warned that, once the bill was authorized, there would be no going back. Another representative argued that a raise in taxes on the wealthy in Massachusetts would cause wealthy taxpaying business owners to flee to states with lower tax rates. In leaving Massachusetts, these entrepreneurs would bring with them their wealth, need for labor, and job market opportunities. These concerns should be considered, as funds would actually need to be properly allocated for any positive changes to be realized. However, the fact that [...]

Public Hearing on the Paid Family Medical Leave

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:20
June 14, 2017 Yesterday a hearing for paid family leave was held at the Massachusetts state house. Testimony was heard from the representatives of the three bills. There was also testimony from private citizens who support the creation of paid family leave; from academics who have studied the bills and their potential effects; and from opponents of the program. A short video was shown in which local small business owners voiced their support of the program and talked about the role it could play in their business and the lives of their employees. The three bills propose to create a system that allows for the existence of a paid family leave program in Massachusetts. At its core the program would have the employers (or employers and employees) pay a small premium per employee, per year. This money would be put into a fund that employees could withdraw from in the event of a leave of absence. This would allow for the employee to retain at least some of their income, thus relieving them of the added stress of financial burden in an already difficult time. It would also allow the employer to hire a temporary replacement without having to pay [...]

Legislators’ vote sends Fair Share Amendment to 2018 ballot

Constitutional Convention overwhelmingly approves measure for second time.

JwJ 2017 Summer Workshop _ Researching to Organize: Finding the Bad Guys!

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Mon, 2017-06-12 12:50
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 2017 Intern/ Volunteer Education Series Fifth Workshop Researching to Organize: Finding the Bad Guys! These days it’s clear that big money drives our politics and our economy, but who are the people behind all that money? If we want to stop corporate greed from bankrupting us all, we need to put names and faces to the 1% who run this system. Using examples tracing the big money behind charter schools, In this workshop we will learn some of the tricks of the trade for identifying the real targets in our fights. Date and time: Monday, 07/17/2017, 6:00 p.m. Workshop Leader: John Donahoe (Researcher at 1199SEIU)

JwJ 2017 Summer Workshop _ Cultural Activism: The Art of Change

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Mon, 2017-06-12 12:49
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 2017 Intern/ Volunteer Education Series Sixth Workshop Cultural Activism: The Art of Change Words are important to get our points across, but art can make people feel the raw emotions behind our causes that make them want to take action. That’s why our movement needs creative tactics to reach the hearts and minds of our audience. In this interactive workshop, we’ll share different ways to incorporate culture in our organizing. Date and time: Monday, 07/25/2017, 6:00 p.m. Workshop Leader: Eroc Arroyo-Montana (Director of Cultural Organizing United for a Fair Economy)

JwJ 2017 Summer Workshop _ The Movement for Immigrant Rights

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Mon, 2017-06-12 12:47
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 2017 Intern/ Volunteer Education Series Seventh Workshop The Movement for Immigrant Rights Learn more about the past and present of the ongoing struggle for the rights of immigrants in the US. From ending deportations to defending immigrant workers’ rights on the job, find out how you can join the fight! Date and time: Monday, 07/31/2017, 6:00 p.m. Workshop Leader: Edwin Argueta  (Organizer at Massachusetts Jobs with Justice)

Help Oscar, Eva, and Their Kids!

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Mon, 2017-06-12 11:41
Framingham Father Is Deported By ICE Oscar Millan was detained on Monday, May 22nd on his way to pick up his newborn son from the hospital. He was deported on Thursday, June 1st. A father of two and resident of Framingham for 18 years, Oscar is the primary breadwinner for his family. He, his partner Eva, and their family are beloved members of La Voz de la Comunidad and the Church of St. Stephens. The family needs lots of help and support in the upcoming weeks and months. If you have any questions, you can contact their family friend T.J  (English/Spanish) 508-816-7689. Here’s how you can help: Donate here to the family’s GoFundMe for rent and utilities; https://www.gofundme.com/framingham-family-needs-help Donate gift certificates to Market Basket or Target; Donate healthy groceries and hot dishes for the mama and her two children; Donate diapers, baby formula and clothes for their 1 month old+ male baby; Donate toys or books for their 8 year old boy and  1 month old+ male baby; Feel free to leave contact information so that the Millan family can thank you for your support, and we thank you in advance for all your help. For more information about Oscar’s struggle: About To [...]

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 2017 Intern/Volunteer Education Series

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:24
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is offering a wide range of workshops as part of our 2017 Intern/Volunteer Education Series. These workshops will teach you all about your rights at work and how to defend them, how to communicate about issues you are passionate about, the role art plays in activism, and much more. Every workshop will begin at 6:00 pm at the Jobs with Justice office, located at 375 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. You can check out the full schedule below and if you have any questions, or would like to RSVP, please email gillian@MASSJWJ.NET or call 617-524-8778. In solidarity, Jobs with Justice __________________________________________________________________________________________ Your Rights at Work: What They Are and How to Defend Them What are your legal rights at work?  How do those rights change when you join a union?  This workshop will answer all your questions about what you, your coworkers, and your boss can and can’t do on the job. Date: 6/12/17 Workshop Leader: Gillian Mason, Organizer, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice   Who’s Got the Power?: Friends, Allies, and “Enemies” in the Fight for Justice! In order to change the world – locally or globally – we first need to figure out the [...]

June 15, 2017: Solidarity With Logan Airport Workers!

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:11
RALLY: SOLIDARITY WITH LOGAN AIRPORT WORKERS Low-wage workers are still fighting for dignity, respect and a living wage at Logan Airport. At a time when the airline industry is raking in billions of dollars in record profits, subcontracted workers at our nation’s airports are working for poverty wages and struggling to cover basic necessities like food, housing, and health care. This is unacceptable. Our airport should be a source of good jobs for the people who live and work in Boston. Will you take action on June 15th at Logan Airport to help them win? Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017 Time: 11:30 AM Location: East Boston Memorial Park (143 Porter St, Boston, Massachusetts 02128) — Blue Line T to ‘Airport’ Station For more information, contact Khalida Smalls at ksmalls@seiu32bj.org  or (617) 878-7460. Here’s the link to the event. Please spread words about the rally on your social media!

June 15, 2017: Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret – Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:10
Event Description: The world’s tallest and hairiest drag queen and her band are coming for you, Boston. Save us some clam chowda and be sure to send us some Harvard students so we can teach them a thing or two. After the show, enjoy an audience talkback with Martha and Abe Rybeck, founder of Boston’s Theater Offensive. Martha Graham Cracker is considered to be Philadelphia’s best cabaret performer. Created by Dito van Reigersberg, Martha is a powerful 6 foot+ cabaret singer, comedian, and entertainer. In obvious need of manscaping, Martha and her band will provide a marvelous and moving evening of song. Martha was a year-long artist-in-residence at the National Jewish Museum and has performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Joe’s Pub in NYC, L’Etage, and elsewhere. Sponsored by the Jewish Arts Collaborative, Keshet, OBERON, and The Theater Offensive Find us on Facebook and Twitter Time: 7:30 pm Price: $25.00 Location: Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA https://www.keshetonline.org/event/martha-graham-cracker-cabaret-things-arent-always-what-they-seem/

June 19, 2017: Stand for Criminal Justice Reform

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:09
The Massachusetts Moral Revival asks you to Take a Stand on Criminal Justice Reform! Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN) asks us to: 1.) Please consider attending one of these two upcoming hearings, for even half an hour, to show widespread support for passage of needed criminal justice reform legislation: Monday June 19, 11:45 am (rally) @ State House  1:00 pm Hearing @ Room A-1  2.) Please write or call your State Representatives and tell them that you support criminal justice reform measures like in the Justice Reinvestment Act (House 2308 and Senate 791) and ask your State Representatives if they will tell House Speaker DeLeo that they want these bills to get a vote during this session of the Legislature. For more information call or email Mass Communities Action Network (MCAN) and the Jobs NOT Jails Coalition at (617) 470-2912; JobsNotJails2017@gmail.com; and LewFinfer@gmail.com.

June 20, 2017: Learn about the Moral Revival and the National Poor People’s Campaign

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:08
When: Tuesday June 20, 6pm Where: Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (10 Putnam St, Boston, MA 02119) All Moral Revival supporters are invited to our quarterly gathering. We will provide updates on the national Poor People’s Campaign being led by Rev. William Barber, and how our work can align with it. A simple supper will be provided. Donations gratefully accepted. Kindly RSVP here

JwJ 2017 Summer Workshop _ Your Rights at Work: ‘What They Are and How to Defend Them’

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:01
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 2017 Intern/ Volunteer Education Series First Workshop Your Rights at Work: What They Are and How to Defend Them What are your legal rights at work? How do those rights change when you join a union? This workshop will answer all your questions about what you, your coworkers, and your boss can and can’t do on the job. Date and time: Monday, 06/12/2017, 6:00 p.m. Workshop Leader: Gillian Mason (Organizer at Massachusetts Jobs with Justice)

JwJ 2017 Summer Workshop _ Who’s Got the Power? : Friends, Allies, and “Enemies” in the fight for Justice!

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Fri, 2017-06-09 12:00
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 2017 Intern/ Volunteer Education Series Second Workshop Who’s Got the Power? : Friends, Allies, and “Enemies” in the fight for Justice! In order to change the world – locally or globally – we first need to figure out the major players who are shaping the issues we care about most, and how we can use people power to sway them to our point of view. In this workshop we will learn some tools to help strategize and build community POWER! Date and time: 6/19/2017, 6:00 p.m. Workshop Leader: Edwin Argueta (Organizer at Massachusetts Jobs with Justice)

Puerto Rican Debt Crisis: Sources

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Thu, 2017-06-08 16:07
PAYING OUR DEBT TO PUERTO RICO: **If you have any suggestions for other sources we should include, please let us know! Sources New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/29/business/dealbook/puerto-ricos-governor-says-islands-debts-are-not-payable.html?_r=0 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/us/puerto-ricos-university-is-paralyzed-by-protests-and-facing-huge-cuts.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20170525 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/business/puerto-rico-debt-crisis-oversight-board.html?_r=0 https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/05/23/world/americas/ap-cb-puerto-rico-university-strike.html?_r=0 http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/10/business/puerto-rico-fighting-to-keep-its-tax-breaks-for-businesses.html?pagewanted=all The Hill http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/329924-pity-puerto-rico-islands-debt-crisis-to-reach-greece-like Wall Street Journal https://www.wsj.com/articles/puerto-ricos-debt-crisis-turns-up-the-heat-on-congress-1462219483 The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/08/puerto-ricos-debt-crisis-greece El Nuevo Dia http://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/estudiantesderiopiedrascomienzanallegaralaasambleageneral-2328031/ Midland Reporter-Telegram http://www.mrt.com/news/education/article/Puerto-Rico-university-president-faces-jail-amid-11164777.php The Intercept http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/329924-pity-puerto-rico-islands-debt-crisis-to-reach-greece-like Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2017/06/01/will-puerto-rico-find-a-way-to-survive-its-debt-crisis/#6569c2d05b90 CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/12/investing/puerto-rico-debt-crisis/index.html Supreme Court https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-108_k4mp.pdf https://cases.primeclerk.com/puertorico/Home-DocketInfo?DocAttribute=3257&DocAttrName=Petition https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/puerto-rico-promesa-debt/489797/

Puerto Rican Debt Crisis: Ways to Get Involved

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Thu, 2017-06-08 15:58
PAYING OUR DEBT TO PUERTO RICO: Ways to Get Involved The Puerto Rican people need our support and you can help! As an individual, you can: Inform yourself about the economic and humanitarian crisis currently plaguing Puerto Rico. Spread the news with your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, in person and through social media. The more you spread awareness of this crisis, the more you can help us end the corporate greed threatening so many Puerto Ricans. Contact local, state, and federal representatives. Don’t be silent. Be a voice for those who have none. Show solidarity by attending events and rallies in your community. If you are a member of an organization: Let us know if you’re holding an event to support Puerto Ricans. We can promote your event and work to make it as successful as possible. We’re eager to share news about your organization and any upcoming events through social media, so let us know how we can spread the word. Also be sure to check out other organizations on this website to connect with others who realize the moral imperative we all have to stand with Puerto Ricans during this difficult time.  

Puerto Rican Debt Crisis: Overview

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Thu, 2017-06-08 15:53
PAYING OUR DEBT TO PUERTO RICO: Overview Background: A History of Economic Exploitation The history of Puerto Rico’s relationship with the mainland U.S. has been one of economic exploitation, plain and simple. Prior to 1996, IRS Section 936 exempted U.S. corporations from federal taxes on income earned in Puerto Rico. In other words, Puerto Rico was a tax haven, and corporations seized on the opportunity. Their presence created thousands of jobs and undeniably benefited Puerto Ricans. The problem is, between 1996 to 2006, IRS 936 was phased out. No longer able to avoid taxation, corporations abandoned the island, thousands of jobs were lost, and the population shrank. The government tried to issue bonds to make up for the shortfalls, but banks like Santander managed to find new ways of exploiting Puerto Rico, enriching themselves at the expense of the entire population. Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank, under Carlos M. Garcia, created COFINA bonds, which redirected tax sales revenue to pay bondholders instead of funding vital public programs. Banks reaped huge financial rewards, while economic development was stalled due to growing debt and the lack of funds. Bottom line: the banks undermined the Puerto Rican economy by underwriting predatory bonds and, [...]

PAYING OUR DEBT TO PUERTO RICO

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Thu, 2017-06-08 15:44
PAYING OUR DEBT TO PUERTO RICO: The Costs and Consequences of the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis A crumbling infrastructure that cannot meet basic health needs. The resurgence of Zika on an unprecedented scale. Underfunded hospitals. Undrinkable water. A deteriorating educational system. And it’s only going to get worse. Puerto Rico is being ravaged by a crisis we created. It is imperative we act to help the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who are, and will continue, to suffer each and every day if we do nothing. But what exactly is the debt crisis that is devastating Puerto Rico? Who’s to blame? And what can we do? Read on to find out what you need to know and how you can support the Puerto Ricans today. I. Overview II. Ways To Get Involved III. Sources

March Against Trump’s Budget Plan attracts Big Crowd

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Thu, 2017-06-01 12:11
May 31, 2017 Massachusetts People’s Budget Campaign, along with many more organizations, led an exhilarating rally and march yesterday that began at the Tip O’Neill Federal Building and ended in front of the JFK Federal Building. People of all ages gathered at 11:00 to hear a number of speakers denounce President Trump’s budget and enthusiastically support the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ alternative, The People’s Budget. According to Cole Harrison, executive director of Massachusetts Peace Action, Trump’s budget cuts “climate protection, housing, food security, worker safety, and cancer research, transferring all these funds towards our grossly inflated military budget.” Furthermore, “food assistance [would be] cut by nearly $200 billion,” which is, “on top of the over $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid.” It’s easy to see why so many attendees and speakers alike referred to it as a “death budget.” In stark contrast, Michael Kane of the Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants notes that, “The People’s Budget invests $2 trillion in modernizing our energy system, improving mass transit, education, and infrastructure [and] funds universal childcare, increases access to health care, provides for humane immigration reform, and expands Social Security.” Finally, it also helps veterans by ensuring “they receive the care and benefits [...]

Reflection by Kenny Fairneny

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - Tue, 2017-05-30 16:19
(Kenneth, Noah, anonymous, Olivia) Attending the May 20th Rally For Public Education allowed me to hear voices from a number of underrepresented perspectives within the educational system. Many of the speakers at the rally represented underfunded Boston area schools, including several teachers working with students with disabilities. With the 9.2 billion dollar (13.5%) educational cuts from Trump’s Budget Proposal in mind, speakers touched on the ways in which even the current educational budget is insufficient. (Kamentez 2017). The urban school systems they represented tend to be composed of disproportionate numbers of people of color, while also tending to hold less wealth. Further cuts in funding would be especially impactful for racial and ethnic minorities. Cuts to educational funding would also limit the expansion of programs designed to benefit differently abled students. The Rally for Public Education spoke to the need for dissension by US citizens who care about creating a more equitable educational system for all, regardless of race, class, gender, or ability.   Trump’s proposed cuts to educational funding would impact both K-12 schooling, as well as aid to higher education. As someone who is going to be completing an undergraduate degree next year with over $50,000 in student [...]
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