In just a two week period over 370 workers joined the New England Joint Board UNITE HERE. Beginning on April 13th 70 Case Managers at WellLife Network in New York City joined through a card check agreement after over a year of organizing. The workers at WellLife join over 800 workers at the non-profit agency who are already represented by the NEJB. Case Managers provide critical services to people with developmental disabilities and their families in the New York City area.
Exactly a week later, 300 workers in the Environmental Services Department at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut voted to join the NEJB in an election conducted by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The ESD workers organized for well over a year and withstood a vicious anti-union campaign waged by the company complete with captive audience meetings and misleading anti-union propaganda. Workers took their concerns to the Connecticut State House in March and testified in support of a bill that would outlaw coercive captive audience meetings. The workers, responsible for cleaning and maintaining the resort and casino, held strong throughout the campaign and become the fifth unionized department in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Reservation.
“I voted yes for the union because I’m concerned about job security. We all have families to support and we can’t do that comfortably if we’re constantly worrying that our jobs could disappear without us having any say,” says Leon Morrison, a 24 year ESD worker and resident of Norwich. “By voting yes for the union we now have a seat at the table.”
“This is proof of a rising tide in America. Workers have had enough and they’re joining together, arm in arm, to demand a voice at work and fight for their futures.” says Warren Pepicelli, Manager of the New England Joint Board. “We can’t expect politicians, the media, or companies to help us. We need to do it ourselves, as workers. There is no substitution for worker solidarity. For too long workers have been used and abused in this country and our society is allowing companies to get away with it. That is why workers and their unions are taking it upon themselves to stand up and demand that their hard work be honored and respected. We did this at Foxwoods and we’re ready to do it again wherever there are workers ready to make their voices heard.”
The New England Joint Board represents 10,000 workers across New England and New York in the textile, garment, manufacturing, distribution, laundry, human services, and hospitality industries. NEJB members come from nearly every corner of the globe and a majority are women and people of color. The NEJB is proud to be a progressive organizing union.