Photo: Greenfield Nurses on Strike

About 200 nurses in Greenfield are on strike. This photo was taken on June 26 outside the hospital where they work. In the photo, people are listening to a nurse speaking. The nurses are asking the public to support them as they fight for justice. They have a web site at www.MassNurses.org. More information is at www.valleypost.org/node/1289. One of the signs in the photo reads, "Stop corporate greed." To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Greenfield Nurses to Rally

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital are asking the public to support them by attending a rally outside the hospital on April 27 from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The hospital is at 164 High Street. “Nurses will join with the community on April 27 to show (hospital owner) Baystate we are united for safe patient care,” said Donna Stern, a nurse at the hospital. “Nurses are being pushed beyond our ability to safely care for our patients. If we have too many patients at one time, how can we provide high-quality care?

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.

Fight for $15 Minimum Wage

Activists fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage are offering carpool rides from the Valley to a rally in Boston on November 29. The minimum wage is now $10 an hour in Massachusetts, $9.60 in Vermont, and $7.25 in New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts minimum wage will be $11 starting January 1, 2017. Vermont's minimum wage will be $10 starting January 1, 2017 and $10.50 starting January 1, 2018. In New Hampshire, no increases are scheduled.

Springfield Labor Rally Is Sept. 30

One out of every four Americans has a "net worth" of zero or less, meaning their debts are bigger than their assets. Stephen Schwarzman lives in New York. His personal income was $811 million last year. He is the CEO of Blackstone Corporation, which owns Motel 6.

One way to spread the wealth is to raise taxes on billionaires and use the money to provide affordable housing for poor people. Another is for workers to form unions, and for the public to support the unions when they need help.

Black Lives Matter Rallies in Valley Start July 8

There will be Black Lives Matter rallies in Amherst at 6 p.m. on July 8, in Greenfield on July 9 at 9 a.m., in Holyoke on July 10 at noon, in Springfield on July 11 at 3 p.m., in Northampton on July 12 at 6 p.m., and in Brattleboro on July 13 at 5 p.m. The local chapter of Jobs With Justice www.jwj.org is helping to promote the events.

The Amherst event will be at the town common. More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/627695780714899/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif...

The Greenfield rally will be at the town common. Details are at:

3,300 Nurses To Go On Strike

About 3,300 nurses will go on strike June 27 in Boston. They are asking the public to join them at a rally on June 26 at 4 p.m., and on the picket lines starting June 27 at 7 a.m. Buses from Springfield to Boston leave every two hours and take about an hour and 40 minutes. One-way fares start at $16. Details are at www.greyhound.com. From the Boston bus station to the rally takes about 12 minutes by subway; to the picket line is about 30 minutes by subway. The fare is $2.10.

In Chicopee, a Win

Activists prevented a low-income woman from being evicted from her home by a multi-million dollar bank. They held a rally May 4 at an auction outside the home in Chicopee, Massachusetts, which is between Springfield and Holyoke. Because of the rally, no one bought the home from the bank. “That makes it much easier to fight an eviction,” Rose Webster-Smith told the Valley Post. Webster-Smith works for the group that organized the rally. The group has a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org.

In Holyoke, Activists Rally Outside Store

On May 1 at the Holyoke mall, activists held a rally against sweatshops. Most clothing that people wear in the USA is made by workers in poor nations who in many cases are abused by their bosses. "Our action was in solidarity with Bangladeshi garment workers," Liana Foxvog told the Valley Post. She organized the rally. She works in Northampton for a group that has a web site at www.LaborRights.org.

Family of Wrongfully Convicted Man Gets $1.5 Million

In Brattleboro, a court case against police officers whose errors sent a man to prison for 18 years for a crime he probably did not commit has ended. The state will pay $1.5 million to the family of John Grega, who died after he was released from prison. “The Grega family is very happy,” Ian Carleton told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on April 27. He is the family's lawyer. “They fought for justice and they got it.” The deal was announced April 22.