Workers Unite

In Amherst, workers at the University of Massachusetts are organizing a union. If they succeed, about 80 workers will be members of the union. They teach at UMass. On January 24 at 11 a.m., the workers will hold a rally. The public is invited. The rally will be outside the Whitmore building at Umass Amherst.

“It's a matter of solidarity and self respect,” said Priscilla Murolo. She has taught history at Umass Amherst for 12 years.

Gordon Lafer has taught sociology at Umass Amherst for eight years. “A union will help guarantee fair conditions for faculty,” he said.

In recent decades, the richest Americans have gotten richer, while the middle class has gotten smaller and the ranks of the poor have swelled. Union workers in the U.S. make about 29 percent more money than non-union workers. That’s around $9,300 a year extra for the average worker who joins a union. For Latino workers, the union advantage is about 50 percent; for black workers, approximately 31 percent. This data is from www.bls.gov.

Millions of workers in the U.S. are union members, including workers at Stop and Shop and UPS. Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason. Workers who belong to a union can only be fired for just cause.

More information about unions in the Valley is at:

www.ValleyPost.org/node/134

The union that the UMass workers want to join has a web site at www.MassTeacher.org. More information about the rally is available by contacting Ferd Wulkan by phone (413-577-4121) or e-mail: ferdwulkan@gmail.com.

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