Workers Win

About 350 workers in Springfield, Massachusetts had a major victory when they voted to approve a new union contract. “I feel great,” Iris Rivera-Medina told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on February 9. “We fought hard. Everyone is happy with the contract.” She has worked making breakfast and lunch for children at the public schools in Springfield for seven years. Rivera-Medina works for Sodexo corporation. “We won a raise of $3.50 an hour over the three year contract. New hires make $15.92 an hour now. People who have worked here for a long time make more.”

Irma Alvarado has worked for Sodexo making breakfast and lunch for children at the Springfield schools for three years. “We got the raise people wanted,” she told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on February 9. “We also wanted a voice at the table and we got that. We did great. We had help from a wonderful union representative, Crystal Bouchie. Our voices were heard,” Alvarado said.

The Springfield workers have a web site at www.ufcw1459.com.

Until now, no news outlet has covered this victory. The contract was signed on December 22, 2022. Sodexo corporation has about 400,000 employees globally.

Springfield is home to 154,000 people, 69 percent of whom are people of color. In the USA, union workers make an average of $191 more per week, compared to workers who don't have a union. Reducing inequality is good for democracy, since billionaires buy politicians. In the Valley, all UPS and Stop and Shop workers belong to a union. That means billionaires make less money and workers make more.

Hundreds of workers at the Brattleboro Retreat mental hospital are union members. So are workers at hospitals in Greenfield, Northampton and Springfield; and at the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro.

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