175 at Northampton Rally

On January 6 in Northampton about 175 people attended a rally to demand Congress pass three voting rights bills. “People were somber and serious but also hopeful. It was uplifting. So many people care about getting these voting rights bills passed,” organizer Larry Pareles told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview. He said people should go to www.IndivisibleNorthampton.org for more information. The below photo shows the rally. It was taken by Pareles. To enlarge the photo click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image."

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Thanks to the labor movement, on January 1 the minimum wage went up to $14.25 an hour in Massachusetts and $12.55 an hour in Vermont. The New Hampshire minimum wage remained $7.25. In the 1930s workers went on strike around the nation, forcing politicians to pass the first minimum wage laws. To this day, unions lobby to raise the minimum wage. One of the most active unions in the Pioneer Valley and Brattleboro has a web site at www.ufcw1459.com. New Hampshire unions have a web site at www.nhaflcio.org. Inequality is bad for democracy. Billionaires buy politicians.

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Seven hundred nurses won a strike at a hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. Worcester is 50 minutes by car from Springfield. Worcester is 25 minutes by car from the Pioneer Valley town of East Brookfield. On December 17, the Texas-based corporation that owns the Worcester hospital, and the elected leaders of the nurses' union, announced a deal to end the strike. The deal became final when the 700 or so nurses voted to approve it on January 3.

Marlena Pellegrino is a nurse at the hospital. “This agreement, and the improvements it includes, was hard fought, and represents a true victory, not only for the nurses, but more importantly, for our patients and our community, who will have access to better nursing care, which was why our members walked that strike line for the last nine months through four seasons,” she said.

The strike lasted 285 days.

The nurses have a web site at www.MassNurses.org. The hospital is St. Vincent.

In July, the Valley Post traveled to the picket line and spoke with nurses there. Photos, and interviews, are at:

http://valleypost.org/2021/07/14/700-nurses-strike

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