Maine: Do labor laws need better enforcement?

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Earlier this year, a lobbyist for the Koch-funded NFIB stood before the Maine legislature’s Labor Committee and claimed there’s no “clear and compelling” evidence that labor laws need to be better enforced.

Apparently he doesn’t think that there are workers who are being underpaid, having their tips stolen, not getting overtime or are facing discrimination or sexual harassment on the job. We know that’s not true.

Have you or someone you love experienced labor violations in your workplace? I’d like to hear more.

Let me know.

It’s incredibly difficult for individual workers to fight back when their employer has all the power and big companies are constantly finding new ways to keep workers from reporting these crimes or getting justice. They often reclassify employees as contract workers or force them into binding arbitration agreements where they sign away their right to go to court.

That’s why Maine Senate President Troy Jackson has put forward a bill, LD 1693, that would allow workers to band together and get help to hold corporate criminals accountable for violating labor laws.

But we have to counter the lies that corporate lobbyists are going to tell to lawmakers.

Have you ever experienced workplace discrimination? Been forced to work through breaks or work overtime and not been paid for that time? Worked in unsafe conditions? Experienced retaliation for raising issues in your workplace?

I’d like to hear more. You can contact me at the email below to share your experience.

Together we can poke holes in the lies these lobbyists will tell and make sure that lawmakers stand up for workers and hold corporate criminals accountable.

Thank you,

Amy Halsted
MPA Co-Director

P.S. It’s Election Day! Don’t forget to go and vote in your local elections. Polls are open until 8pm. You can click here to find your polling location.



Portland votes ‘no’ on guaranteed paid sick leave

The decision affects over 19,000 employees in the city.
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PORTLAND, Maine — Portland’s City Council voted ‘no’ on Monday to guaranteeing paid sick leave for workers.

Cameron O’Brien


BREAKING: Portland earned paid sick time ordinance FAILS.

The May 6 decision affects over 19,000 employees in the city. The 5-4 vote comes after a debate that has been ongoing in the City Council for a year and a half.

In February, the Portland City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee voted to adopt the measure, which then went to the full City Council for consideration.

Those in favor of the bill were upset by Monday night’s decision.

“We have fought incredibly, incredibly hard for the Portland community,” said Drew Christopher Joy of the Southern Maine Workers Center. “We will not stop fighting for working class people and for people of color and for women and for trans and queer folks in this city.”

RELATED: Portland votes to support paid sick days for workers

RELATED: New push for paid sick leave statewide

The proposal would have allowed most workers in Portland one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours, or five days of sick time.

It would have applied to all workers, including part-time, seasonal, and per-diem employees.

Opponents of the ordinance, including small business owners, were worried about cost, saying it may have affected already-existing benefit packages.

This vote comes after Gov. Janet Mills amended a state paid sick leave bill to block local municipalities from creating their own sick leave laws.

That bill has undergone several amendments and is expected to be voted on within the next couple of days.

More U.S. Workers Went on Strike in 2018 Than in Any Year in Three Decades

FEB 15, 2019

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New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows more U.S. workers went on strike last year than in any year since 1986. Nearly 500,000 workers took part in a major work stoppage in 2018.