20 Ayer Street, Brewer, ME 04412
(207)  989-4141

President: Jack McKay, UNITE Local 486
Vice-President: Kendal Dunbar, Machinists Local 1821
Treasurer: Sylvia Perry, AFSCME DC 93
Recording Secretary: Jimmy Cook, IBT Local 340

Trustees: Bruce Robertson, PACE 261;
Tim Tracy, AFSCME Local 926; 
Hilda Chow, AFGE Local 948

For Immediate Release                                                                                 Contact:  Jack McKay 949-0708

Laid-Off Workers Call on President Bush to Address Job Loss and Local Economy at Campaign Stops in Maine

(Bangor, Maine, September 23) – Laid-off workers, both union and non-union, today called on President Bush to address their concerns about job loss, outsourcing, health care and the economy at a press briefing outside the former Saucony Shoe Plant.  Workers from plants that cut jobs as a result of the Bush Administration’s flawed economic policies demanded a chance to ask the president questions at his campaign rally in Bangor.  They were denied tickets to the event.

Peter Coppa was laid-off from Eastern Fine Paper when the company moved jobs overseas.  “My family’s life was turned upside down after my employer gave me the pink slip,” said Coppa.  “And it’s impossible to survive on the low-wage jobs that are being created in my community.”

Since the recession began in 2001, Maine has lost 15,700 manufacturing jobs and 1,000 information jobs.  In 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that at least 30 Maine companies slashed jobs from their payrolls due to trade.  From December 2003 through June 004, more than 7,000 residents exhausted their unemployment benefits.  In 2002, about 144,000 residents were uninsured mainly because many of the jobs being created do not offer health coverage. 

Under President Bush’s watch, the country has lost nearly one million jobs and long-term unemployment reached its highest level since 1983. 

“Our communities are hit hard by the jobs crisis and it’s clear that working families are still suffering,” said Jack McKay, president of the Greater Bangor Area Central Labor Council.    “Since 2001, in our region we have lost over 2,000 good paying jobs directly due to trade.  We find it absolutely outrageous that the President of the United States would give in his annual Economic Report of the President the following, and I quote “When a good or service is produced more cheaply abroad, it makes more sense to import it than to provide it domestically.”  These failed policies have caused far too much damage to our economic security already.  George Bush needs to learn from his mistakes outline a far better economic policy.”

Workers statewide are mobilizing as never before to educate other union members on key economic issues in this presidential election.  They’re going door-to-door to inform members about the candidates’ positions on jobs, health care and retirement security.

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