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Big Labor: Maine’s two largest labor unions merge

big laborAUGUSTA – Top labor union officials announced Friday the merger of Maine’s two largest labor unions.

The Maine State Employees Association (MSEA) will join the Maine AFL-CIO after seven-years of independence, according to a press release from the AFL-CIO.

“Rejoining the Maine AFL-CIO formalizes the effective working partnerships that MSEA-SEIU members and Maine AFL-CIO members have demonstrated over the last several years,” said MSEA President Ginette Rivard.

Don Berry, president of the Maine AFL-CIO, said the merger is “good news” for the people of Maine. “A stronger, more unified grassroots movement of working men and women is exactly what’s needed to raise wages and rebuild economic security for Maine families.”

The merger of the top labor unions is a thoroughly political event, a fact Rivard was open about in her statement. Rivard said the unions will work together to urge lawmakers to expand medical welfare and oust Republican Gov. Paul R. LePage.

Matt Schlobohm, AFL-CIO executive director, tweeted about the merger just hours after the Maine Bureau of Labor released its November report showing Maine’s unemployment rate at its lowest since November of 2008. 

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