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.

Rally to End Domestic Violence

On April 27 in Brattleboro, there will be a march and rally in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence. More government funding is needed to provide homes for survivors who can't afford to pay rent. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Brattleboro town common, on Park Place between Linden Street and Putney Road. Vermont Senator Becca Balint will speak at the rally.

More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/144625839397034

In the Streets for Peace and Justice

Dozens of people attended a rally in Northampton on April 9 to protest President Trump's military attack on Syria. Sabine Merz spoke at the rally. "The way to help Syria is to open our borders to them," she told the Valley Post. The event was outside city hall. It was organized by the American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts www.afscwm.org.

Nurses Vote to Authorize a Strike

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital voted by a 93 percent margin to authorize a strike. This gives their elected union leaders the power to call a strike if current contract negotiations fail. The next bargaining session is set for March 27, Joe Markham told the Valley Post on March 21. He works for the nurses' union, which has a web site at www.MassNurses.org.

Valley Nuke Fight is On

A risky procedure is planned for this spring at a nuclear waste dump in Vermont that's three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. If the operation goes wrong, thousands of people could be killed.

Nurses to Rally for Justice

In Greenfield, nurses are asking the public to join them at a rally for justice on March 9 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be at the town common. The nurses work at the Greenfield hospital, now known as Baystate Franklin Medical Center. They are members of a union, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which is organizing the rally. The workers want fewer patients per nurse, and better wages and benefits.

Workers Win

Billionaires have been getting richer in recent years, as the middle class has gotten smaller, and the ranks of the poor have swelled. But workers in Greenfield are reversing that trend. “We won a good union contract,” John Cevasco told the Valley Post on December 10. He has worked at a grocery store, Green Fields Market, for more than 16 years. About 75 workers at the store, and at a smaller subsidiary in nearby Shelburne Falls, formed a union in 2012.

139 Acres Saved

Activists on August 24 permanently protected 139 acres of forestland in Royalston, Massachusetts. Royalston is near Greenfield and Keene. The land includes several ponds. “Canoeing across this sheltered wetland is a dramatic experience,” said David Kotker. He works for the land trust that saved the land. It has a web site at www.MountGrace.org. “No signs of human habitation are visible.” Among the animals that live there are beavers, a breeding pair of bald eagles, and a rare juvenile golden eagle. A photo of the land is below.

Photos: Rallies for Peace and the Environment

These photos show rallies for peace and the environment. The first photo was taken in Greenfield on July 6. It shows Linda Owen of Brattleboro. Her sign refers to the Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic where three years ago a freight train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, killing 47 people. Similar trains travel through Greenfield, said rally organizer Tim Stevenson of the group Post Oil Solutions www.PostOilSolutions.org.

Concert Review: Sierra Leone All-Stars

The Sierra Leone All-Stars performed an excellent concert near Greenfield on June 25. It was at the Shea Theater in Turner's Falls, Massachusetts. The dance floor was full. The band has recorded several excellent albums. Most of the songs on the albums are Afro-Pop or “high life” style. Some are reggae.

Lead singer Ruben Koroma asked, "Our country, Sierra Leone, is rich in minerals. Why are our people in poverty?"