Workers Unite

In a win for workers' rights, 43 workers at Trinity Home Care in Chicopee, Massachusetts formed a union. Chicopee borders Springfield. “Mandatory overtime, wages, and security were the big issues,” Chris Mangano told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on March 19. She has been a nurse at Trinity Home Care in Chicopee for 22 years. “In terms of security, we want a security person to accompany us when we go to patients’ homes. Our patients are all ages. We also want safe patient limits, six patients a day. Now we have seven, eight, or nine.”

Keene Activists Fight Fracking

In Keene, activists marched to stop a proposed fracked gas pipeline. They won last year when the pipeline was canceled. Now the activists are fighting a plan by the corporation that holds the city monopoly for gas used for heating buildings to switch from propane to fracked gas. Both are fossil fuels that cause climate change. “But fracked gas is full of chemicals that are even worse for people's health,” Terry Clark told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on November 25, 2017. He is a member of the Keene city council.

Valley Activists Work to Raise Minimum Wage

People in the Valley are working to raise the Massachusetts minimum wage to $15 an hour. They are gathering signatures on a petition. If they get enough signatures, the question will get on the ballot, so every U.S. citizen over age 18 who lives in the state can vote on it, unless they are in prison for a felony. The activists have a web site at The site says they have the support of the state's biggest unions.

Freedom March Planned

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours. In Vermont, 10 percent of prisoners are African American. Just 1 percent of Vermonters are black. In Brattleboro on September 27 there will be a freedom march. The goal is to get politicians to reduce the prison population. The march starts at 5 p.m. at Pliny Park.

Photo: Greenfield Nurses on Strike

About 200 nurses in Greenfield are on strike. This photo was taken on June 26 outside the hospital where they work. In the photo, people are listening to a nurse speaking. The nurses are asking the public to support them as they fight for justice. They have a web site at More information is at One of the signs in the photo reads, "Stop corporate greed." To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Greenfield Nurses to Rally

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital are asking the public to support them by attending a rally outside the hospital on April 27 from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The hospital is at 164 High Street. “Nurses will join with the community on April 27 to show (hospital owner) Baystate we are united for safe patient care,” said Donna Stern, a nurse at the hospital. “Nurses are being pushed beyond our ability to safely care for our patients. If we have too many patients at one time, how can we provide high-quality care?

Workers Win

Billionaires have been getting richer in recent years, as the middle class has gotten smaller, and the ranks of the poor have swelled. But workers in Greenfield are reversing that trend. “We won a good union contract,” John Cevasco told the Valley Post on December 10. He has worked at a grocery store, Green Fields Market, for more than 16 years. About 75 workers at the store, and at a smaller subsidiary in nearby Shelburne Falls, formed a union in 2012.

Fight for $15 Minimum Wage

Activists fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage are offering carpool rides from the Valley to a rally in Boston on November 29. The minimum wage is now $10 an hour in Massachusetts, $9.60 in Vermont, and $7.25 in New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts minimum wage will be $11 starting January 1, 2017. Vermont's minimum wage will be $10 starting January 1, 2017 and $10.50 starting January 1, 2018. In New Hampshire, no increases are scheduled.

Springfield Labor Rally Is Sept. 30

One out of every four Americans has a "net worth" of zero or less, meaning their debts are bigger than their assets. Stephen Schwarzman lives in New York. His personal income was $811 million last year. He is the CEO of Blackstone Corporation, which owns Motel 6.

One way to spread the wealth is to raise taxes on billionaires and use the money to provide affordable housing for poor people. Another is for workers to form unions, and for the public to support the unions when they need help.

Black Lives Matter Rallies in Valley Start July 8

There will be Black Lives Matter rallies in Amherst at 6 p.m. on July 8, in Greenfield on July 9 at 9 a.m., in Holyoke on July 10 at noon, in Springfield on July 11 at 3 p.m., in Northampton on July 12 at 6 p.m., and in Brattleboro on July 13 at 5 p.m. The local chapter of Jobs With Justice is helping to promote the events.

The Amherst event will be at the town common. More information is at:

The Greenfield rally will be at the town common. Details are at: