Workers at an organization that serves homeless and street-dependent populations in Maine's three largest cities are forming a union.
The Maine AFL-CIO announced Friday that workers at Preble Street in Portland, Lewiston and Bangor voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move.
Philippa Adams runs the kitchen at the Portland women's shelter. She says the organization employs many temporary and part-time workers, and turnover is high. Some of the workers she says, are clients as well.
"At Preble Street we do a lot of really intense work and we need more support,” Adams says. “So banding together to have a better workplace for ourselves and for our clients is just really important to me and to all my co-workers."
Union officials say that, once organized, they will enter negotiations for a contract. The vote in favor of forming a union was 90-to-11.