300 Workers Form a Union

About 300 workers in Keene formed a union April 6. “Pay, benefits, and the grievance process are our key issues,” Kim Schmidl-Gagne told the Valley Post last year. She is one of the workers in the new union. They work at Keene State College. “New Hampshire is in last place among the 50 states in funding for higher education,” Schmidl-Gagne said. “We want a voice to advocate to change that.”

The president of the college fought the workers' effort to form a union but the workers prevailed. The Keene workers voted to affiliate with a national union that lobbies for a higher minimum wage to help all workers. It has a web site at www.nea.org.

On average, workers in the USA make 27 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to www.bls.gov. Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at UPS, Stop & Shop, and the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, and Brattleboro.

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