Local Workers Seek Public's Help in Contract Fight

Workers at a state-funded agency in Holyoke are asking the public to help them win a fair contract. "Our bosses want to take away some of our co-workers' health insurance," said April Elias. She works as a "parent aide" at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The union contract covers Elias and about 100 other workers at the Society's office in Holyoke.

The workers have elected a small group of their colleagues to negotiate a new contract. The negotiators met with management on June 1. The current three-year contract will expire on June 30.

On May 26, dozens of workers and supporters rallied outside the Society's office on Maple Street in Holyoke. "The rally was great. We had a big turnout," Elias told The Valley Post. "We're asking people to call MaryLou Sudders, the CEO of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Her number is 617-587-1500.”

Elias asked the public to tell Sudders they support the union workers in their fight for justice. The Society gets funding from the state and other sources.

More information on this struggle is at www.seiu509.org

More information on unions in general, and unions in the Valley in particular, is at http://valleypost.org/node/134

This photo shows the May 26 rally. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image." photo by www.seiu509.org

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