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Citing Hands-On Effort To Protect Workers, UNITE HERE Endorses L’Italien For Congress

May 30, 2018 06:34AM ● By Theresa Gilman

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by Barbara L’Italien for Congress.)

Lawrence, MA — The New England Joint Board UNITE HERE has announced their support for State Senator Barbara L’Italien in the race for Congress in the Massachusetts Third District. UNITE HERE represents 1,200 garment, laundry and food service workers in this district alone, and organized the mill workers in the region in the early years of the labor movement.

L’Italien has developed a strong relationship with UNITE HERE. When Polartec decided to outsource jobs from Massachusetts, Senator L’Italien joined the union in urging the company to keep its commitment to workers and the community by remaining in Lawrence.
When Polartec moved forward with its plans, L’Italien assisted in connecting union workers with the transition assistance they needed, ensuring that their government did right by them even if their employer didn’t.
“When our members were getting a raw deal, Barbara L’Italien was with us every step of the way. She didn’t put out a press release and move on. She listened, she promised she would do whatever she could to help, and she kept that promise,” said NEJB UNITE HERE manager and international executive vice-president Warren Pepicelli.
“Barbara L’Italien has a long record of doing everything in her power to stand up for labor and working families. We know we can trust Barbara to stick up for us in Congress, and we’re looking forward to seeing what a mom on a mission can do in D.C.”
“From the moment we learned Polartec would be leaving, Senator L’Italien was there standing with us,” said former president of NEJB UNITE HERE Local 311 Eddie Quiles. “She fought alongside us to try to save jobs and then helped us ensure that every worker had the benefits and access to new opportunities that they deserved. Barbara stood with us and stood up for Lawrence.”

The endorsement was announced at the Bread and Roses Monument in Lawrence at the launch of a canvass where more than 50 members of UNITE HERE and Lawrence Firefighters Local 146 and other supporters went door-to-door for L’Italien’s campaign.
“I’m honored to have the support of UNITE HERE, a progressive union with deep roots in this district who I’ve been proud to work with,” said L’Italien. “I have always tried to be the kind of public servant people can count on to speak up when a corporation lets them down, and I am glad to be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with UNITE HERE once again. I’ll continue to make it my mission to ensure working families are treated fairly in Washington.”
This endorsement adds to L’Italien’s already formidable strength in the labor community. Her commitment to a level playing field for workers has earned her the most labor support in the race, with the endorsement of unions representing more than 58,000 members.
Other labor union endorsements for L’Italien include:

  • The Massachusetts Nurses Association
  • The Massachusetts Coalition of Police (representing the local police in 216 communities)
  • Lawrence Firefighters Local 146
  • Fitchburg Firefighters Local 3128
  • Andover Firefighters Local 1658
  • Dracut Firefighters Local Local 2586
  • IBEW Local 1505
  • IBEW Local 2222
  • IBEW Local 2321
  • IBEW Local 2325
  • UFCW Local 1445
  • OPEIU Local 453 (MBTA management union)
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 17
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