Workers Unite

Workers at a factory in Greenfield are asking the public to join them on the picket line on May 11 at 2 p.m. “What the company is trying to impose is going to hurt people,” Shawn Coates told the Valley Post. He has worked at the factory for 28 years. The workers have a union, which has a web site at www.UEunion.org. The workers make taps – not the kind used to turn water on and off, but the kind used to make a threaded hole in metal, or in other material. The factory is owned by Pennsylvania-based Kennametal Corporation, whose CEO makes more than $1 million a year.

Jason McGrath started working at the Greenfield factory 17 years ago. He still works there. He was laid off three times, each time for several years. He said Kennametal has a so-called "two tier" system of wages and benefits. New hires are paid much lower wages. “They want the workers to fight among themselves,” McGrath told the Valley Post. Solidarity is the solution.

There are 74 workers at the Greenfield factory. The picket line will be at 34 Sanderson Street. More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/216818238812278

On average, workers in the USA make 27 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to www.bls.gov. Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at UPS, UMass Amherst, the Brattleboro Retreat (900 or so workers), and the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro. The Brattleboro co-op has about 160 employees.

The middle class in the USA is disappearing. There are more rich people and more poor people than there have been since the 1920s. This allows billionaires more influence over politicians. Unions are one way to expand the middle class and increase democracy.

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