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Workers at Portland's Shalom House file petition to form union

Residential and client services staff at Portland-based Shalom House have filed a petition to form a union.

The social service agency provides housing to people with mental health challenges. Union organizers say most of the agency's 150 staff support forming a union in order to improve training and boost pay.

If the effort is successful, Shalom House Workers United would form as part of the Maine Service Employees Association. Other social service workers who have unionized with MSEA include Preble Street, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU.

In a statement, Shalom House leaders says they don't agree that unionization is the best way to meet the needs of both clients and employees, but they'll respect the decision employees make.