There is a new online short-form questionnaire that is designed to help Mainers who have not been able to start an unemployment claim, for any number of reasons.

Maine's labor leaders are calling on Congress to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit for people out of work because of COVID-19. That benefit is part of the CARES act, and it expires at the end of this month.

The head of the Maine AFL-CIO says the pandemic relief measure the U.S. Senate approved Wednesday night will provide relief for workers.

It was supposed to be the day for organized labor to lobby state legislators on perennial issues of interest to unions. Instead, their focus Thursday turned to the plight of Mainers hurt economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

via Preble Street

Workers at an organization that serves homeless and street-dependent populations in Maine's three largest cities are forming a union.

Nearly 200 Maine workers were at the statehouse Thursday, lobbying in favor of measures that would establish paid sick leave, public employees' right to strike, and a public-owned electric utility.

Maine's largest unions are condemning a U.S. Supreme Court decision Wednesday that's widely regarded as a blow to collective bargaining and union power.

In Janus v. AFSCME, the court ruled that public employees can't be forced to pay fees to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

The Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Employees Association both issued statements saying they'll continue fighting for workers, despite the ruling. 

BANGOR, Maine - Maine's largest coalition of labor organizations will gather for a political convention this week. Maine AFL-CIO Executive Director Matt Schlobohm says his group sees the convention as necessary - beyond the standard partisan political conventions - to highlight labor concerns.

Maine labor advocates are applauding the news that Walmart plans to increase wages for some of its lowest-earning employees. Starting in April, the company says it will increase its minimum pay to $9 per hour. In a year, the rate will increase to $10 per hour.

"This is very positive news," says Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the AFL-CIO in Maine. He says the wage hike is a good first step, but more needs to follow.