“Today we honor those who are working, those who have lost their work, those whose work is unpaid, those who cannot find work and those work cost them their lives,” said Cynthia Phinney, President of the Maine AFL-CIO.
The rally was a call to United States Senators Susan Collins and Angus King to “end their break and pass emergency legislation for direct relief to the unemployed or underemployed, including but not limited to expansions to the Family cares and passage of the Heroe’s & Restart Act. They need to reverse Executive Orders that are worsening the crisis for communities and working families and specifically to reimplement the additional $600. a week benefit for the duration of the pandemic,” said Phinney in her opening remarks on the Eastern Promenade, near Cutter Street.
Phinney also called on Collins and King to take necessary steps to save the United States Postal Service from the financial stranglehold that Senator Collins and her colleagues put it in beginning in 2006, for the implementation of Medicare for all so that when workers lose their jobs, they don’t lose access to healthcare as well and for hazard pay for all ‘essential workers’.”
Harlan Baker, a community activist, read a poem by an Unknown Proletarian: The second verse out of three verses follows:
There is never a mine blown skyward now
But we’re buried alive for you.
There’s never a wreck drifts shoreward now
But we are its ghastly crew.
Go reckon our dead by the forges red
And the factories where we spin.
If blood be the price of your cursed wealth
Good God? We have paid it in.
Scott Adams, president of the American Postal Workers Union, addressed funding issues for the USPS. Adams asked for an end to the pre-funding mandate written by Senator Collins in 2006 that has caused most of the current problems. If these situations aren’t corrected, the Postmaster General will keep selling off parts of the Postal Service and rates will continue to go up. “Rural Americans will suffer because of this,” Adams said. No tax dollars go into funding the USPS Adams said – a fact not well known by most Americans.
The AFL-C1O, is a federation of approximately 160 unions representing 40,000 workers in Maine.
On May 15, the US House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act in the amount of $3 trillion. The US Senate rejected it. Please visit post herein dated May 16, 2020 for more information on the subject.