Eastern Maine Medical Center maintenance workers announce plans to unionize

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The union that represents employees at Bath Iron Works announced plans on Monday to also represent a group of plant mechanics at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 4 in Lisbon Falls filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to represent 26 skilled maintenance workers who work at Bangor Hospital, Tim said. Suitter, union spokesperson.

The union represents more than 5,000 machinists in Maine and New Hampshire, according to Andy O’Brien, communications director for the Maine AFL-CIO, with which the machinists are affiliated.

District Lodge 4 is the Machinists organizer arm for local units in Maine. This includes Local S6, which represents 4,300 workers at Bath Iron Works.

“We look forward to an election,” Suitter said.

Northern Light vice president of human resources and patient experience Ali Worster said the hospital network would respond to the petition later this month and respect the right of employees to organize and ” follow the proper process for an election”.

“They are valuable members of our healthcare team, essential for responsive and agile support for our patients and staff,” Worster said. “While we respect the right to unionize, we favor a direct relationship with our leaders and care teams.

Machinists do not represent any other workers at EMMC, although the Maine State Nurses Association represents some 900 nurses there.

Machinists too represent drivers Kennebec Valley Community Action Partners in Waterville, tradespeople at the Woodland Pulp factory in Baileyville, millwrights at the Sappi North America paper mill in Skowhegan and the Maine Lobster Union in Trenton.

The union campaign would be the second at a Maine hospital in as many years, but not as big as the campaign to unionize nurses at Maine Medical Center in April 2021.

Some 57% of Portland Hospital’s 1,700 nurses then voted to unionize with the Maine State Nurses Association, which is affiliated with National Nurses United.

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