Workers Win

Thanks to the labor movement, on January 1 the minimum wage will go up to $12.75 an hour in Massachusetts and $10.96 an hour in Vermont. The New Hampshire minimum wage will remain at $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.

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In Worcester, Massachusetts on December 28, activists blocked a coal train. Ten people were arrested. The police chief did not immediately respond to an e-mail asking for the names and places of residence of the protesters. The Valley Post will include that information in a future article when the chief provides it. The protest was organized by the Climate Disobedience Center. Worcester is about one hour from Springfield by Greyhound.

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On December 29, Vermont Land Trust announced it has saved 186 acres of farmland and forest land in Londonderry, Vermont. Londonderry is 20 miles from Brattleboro. The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Politicians decide how much to invest in protecting open space versus war and tax cuts for rich people. 

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The annual Northampton Women's March, which attracts thousands of people every year, is moving to Springfield. “It will be on January 18,” Rachel Maiore told the Valley Post. She's the main organizer. “What a gift it’s been to develop relationships with community leaders in the Springfield area.”

Details are at www.PioneerValleyWomensMarch.org.

The photos at

www.valleypost.org/node/1551  

were taken in January 2019. They show the Northampton Women's March. The most frequently seen signs opposed Trump's policies and supported peace, justice, and environmental protection. 

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