Report from Union Organizer, Rand Wilson: About 80 people attended a public hearing Thursday by the Somerville Board of Alderman on union jobs and local hiring at the MaxPac residential housing development. We had a short but spirited rally beforehand.
The MaxPac developers are still refusing to live up to the commitment they made to the City of Somerville to sign a project labor agreement. Somerville can't afford to lose this opportunity to employ local trades, people who desperately need jobs in our community.
There was very strong testimony supporting 100% union labor and an agreement to hire Somerville residents. Some of the people who testified included:
- Mary Jo Connelly, Board member, Somerville Community Corp.;
- Jack Lister, Business Agent, Insulators and Allied Workers Local 6, Somerville resident;
- Matt McLaughlin, Save Our Somerville;
- Marya Axner, Jewish Labor Committee, Somerville resident;
- Mark Niedergang, School Committee member, Ward 5; Jose Leiva, Laborers Local 1441;
- Sarah Shugars, Somerville Ward 5 resident;
- Michael Calder, Business Agent, IBEW Local 103;
- Rose Raymond, Somerville resident;
- Janine Lotti, Board President, Somerville Community Corp.;
- Tom McIntyre, Bricklayers;
- Joel Nitzberg, Somerville Community Corp. board member/unemployed Somerville resident;
- Daisy Vasquez, Somerville resident and former employee of Ames Envelope;
- Marcy Gelb, MassCOSH, Somerville resident;
- Sal Islam, Somerville resident and member of Community Corridor Planning Advisory Team;
- Daniel Parsons, business owner and board president, Somerville Local First;
- Tom Wall, member Insulators and Allied Workers Local 6, Somerville resident; and
- Rand Wilson, Union activist, Somerville resident.
The response from the members of the Board of Alderman who attended was very strong in support of our goals. The developer, KSS Realy, will be called to attend a March 8 meeting to answer questions about why it is not living up to the Covenant. The Board also requested a legal opinion from the city attorney and it would like to have the Mayor address the issue as well. The hearing was called because more than 50 Somerville residents signed a petition requesting it.