Brothers & Sisters —
Labor Day is a special holiday to reflect on the sacrifices workers before us have made fighting for dignity, fair treatment and the right to collectively bargaining for a fair share of the fruits of our labor. When union members conceived of the first Labor Day in the 19th century, many Maine workers were brutally exploited, working six days a week from dawn until dusk, risking life and limb for pennies in the lumber camps, quarries, fisheries, farms and factories. It took tremendous strength and courage to organize and stand up to corporate greed, but they knew that they were not only fighting for themselves, but for their children’s futures as well.
This Labor Day working working people also face enormous challenges. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sicken and claim countless lives, tens of thousands of Mainers are out of work due to the economic crisis. But as millions of Americans struggle, billionaires saw their net worth increase by over a half a trillion dollars in recent months. Corporate executives are safe in their homes, but frontline workers are risking their lives every day and very few have the right to negotiate safe workplaces or hazard pay. Now, more than ever, working people need a strong labor movement to fight for them. So let’s devote ourselves to building it.
Unfortunately, this Labor Day we won’t be able to crowd in to enjoy some good food together, but Central Labor Councils will be holding some great events across the state that adhere to social distancing guidelines, including screenings of classic labor films, inspiring speakers and music. Below is a list of these events. We hope to see you there, either in your car or over Zoom!
Cynthia Phinney, President, Maine AFL-CIO
Labor Live: The Front Line Workers & COVID-19 – Friday, Sept. 4, 6pm
Join AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for a conversation with union members who are serving on the front lines as we battle COVID-19. From teaching our kids to caring for the sick to serving our communities, these workers will share their personal journeys and discuss why we need to pass the HEROES Act to protect and support those on the job. Please RSVP here and you will receive a link to view the livestream prior to the starting time.
CMLC Drive-In Labor Movie Night — Sunday, Sept. 6, 7pm
The Central Maine Labor Council will screen the award winning labor classic “Bread and Roses” at the Skowhegan Drive-in Theater, 201 Waterville Rd. in Skowhegan on Sunday, September 6th. Gates open at 7pm and the program starts at 8pm with speakers and a short film before the feature. Admission is free, but please RSVP in advance.
Labor Day Caravan — Monday, Sept. 7, 10am
The Maine AFL-CIO, the Southern Maine Labor Council and the Southern Maine Workers Center will lead a caravan to protest Congress’ inaction on COVID relief legislation on Monday, September 7 at 10am, starting at the Eastern Promenade in Portland. Speakers will call on our elected officials to immediately pass a COVID-19 relief package to protect frontline workers, provide federal aid for cash-strapped local governments, extend unemployment benefits for struggling Mainers and keep the US Postal Service solvent.
SMLC Drive-In Labor Movie Night — Monday, Sept. 7, 6:30pm
The Southern Maine Labor Council will screen the acclaimed film “Pride” on Monday, September 7, at the Saco Drive-In Theater, 969 Portland Road, Saco. Special guest band Nine-to-Nine will perfom labor songs before the show. Suggested donation of
$10 per vehicle at the gate (cash only) but no one will be turned away. Gate opens at 6:30pm. Film starts around 7:30pm. Rain or Shine.
EMLC Labor Day Zoom Celebration — Monday, Sept. 7, 6pm
The Eastern Maine Labor will hold its annual Labor Day Celebration on Zoom on Monday, Sept. 7 from 6-7pm. The event will feature speakers, including AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler, union updates and program work for the fall, including information on EMLC’s political program and Solidarity Harvest. Please register to attend using this link. The Zoom details will be sent to those who RSVP.
WMLC Labor Movie Zoom — Tuesday, Sept. 8, 6pm
The Western Maine Labor Council will host on Zoom a showing of the film “Roughing the Uppers” about the 1937 shoe strike in Lewiston on Tuesday, September 8 from 6-8pm. The film will be introduced by Maine labor historian Charlie Scontras, who will also participate in discussion following the film. Please register & RSVP here.
Maine AFL-CIO • 21 Gabriel Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330
www.maineaflcio.org • facebook.com/maineaflcio