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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Somerville jobs rally and picket line shuts down work at MaxPac

Press Release
Thursday, March 3, 2011
For more info contact:
Cecily Harwitt at (617) 776-5931 x226 or Rand Wilson at (617) 803-0799

No justice, no peace…
Somerville jobs rally and picket line shuts down work at MaxPac

Somerville residents and union members seeking union jobs and a commitment to hire local people shut down the MaxPac housing construction site with a large rally and picket line. The event was held at the Cedar Street entrance to the where 199 units of housing are under construction.

"Do the developers really think they can bust unions and hire out-of-state workers to build MaxPac?" asked Rand Wilson, a Somerville resident and union activist. "Well, we've got news for KSS and Gate Residential: Not in Somerville. Not now. Not ever!"

The group will picket the job site on Friday, March 4 as well.

In recent weeks, large crowds have turned out at two planning board hearings and dozens of people testified at a special hearing by the Board of Alderman on union jobs and local hiring.

"Support from the Board of Alderman has been strong, but we have to keep the pressure on," said Jack Lister, also from Somerville and a leader of the Heat Frost & Insulators Local 6.

"We really need more local jobs," said Roger Galan, a leader of the Jobs For Somerville Committee of Somerville Community Corp. "KSS should live up to the commitment it made to the City of Somerville to sign a project labor agreement and hire local people."

"Does KSS think we are going to go away? Do they think this issue is going to fade?" said Save Our Somerville's Matt McLaughlin. "If local people don't get jobs, we won't be able to stay in our community. It's important to our future and the future of this city that we participate in this economic opportunity."

The Board of Alderman have scheduled a hearing on March 8 to discuss the MaxPac project with KSS, Mayor Curtatone and the City Solicitor. Rally participants were urged to make their voices heard on March 8.

A video of the rally is on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiBoUcPvYy8
Pictures from the rally are posted on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46067326@N00/

The rally was attended by members of Jobs For Somerville - Somerville Community Corp., Save Our Somerville, Bricklayers Local 3, IBEW Local 103, Heat Frost & Insulators Local 6, Sheet Metal Workers' Local 17, Painters District Council 35, Carpenters Local 218, Plumbers Local 12, Roofers Local 33, Pipefitters Local 537, Area Trades Council, IBEW Local 2222, Jewish Labor Committee, Jobs with Justice.

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