May 18, 2003
From: Eesha Williams

Dear Friends,

Workers at the Brattleboro Reformer are unionizing. The newspaper is owned by Dean Singleton of Colorado, a billionaire who owns 47 newspapers. Workers at five of those newspapers have unions and are paid more than double what Reformer workers make ($20,000 a year). More than half the Reformer's 41 workers have now joined the union. But Singleton is fighting dirty to kill the union.

On Friday, the company fired Eesha Williams, a reporter at the Reformer who only days earlier had gone public with his support for the union. Daily mandatory meetings are used to intimidate undecided workers with half-truths and lies about unions.

To learn more and support this struggle for justice and dignity at the Reformer, contact Ron Pickering, president of the Vermont AFL-CIO at 254-9734 or Eesha Williams at 254-2531. Please also attend (and help organize) one or all of these three solidarity events:

Monday, May 19, 9 - 9:15 a.m., join Ron and a community delegation as they deliver a letter to the publisher of the Reformer informing the company that firing Eesha was illegal and that the company should respect its workers' desire to unionize. Meet at the Reformer: 62 Black Mountain Road.

Saturday, May 24, noon - 1 p.m. March for justice/celebration of the struggle -- hand out fliers and help spread the word about the upcoming mass Rally for Justice. Please bring drums, whistles, costumes -- have fun! Start at Wells Fountain (next to Brooks Library), march to co-op and back. Reformer workers and union staff will be there to answer questions about the state of the struggle.

Saturday, May 31, noon - 1 p.m. Mass Rally for Justice -- at Wells Fountain. Congressman Bernie Sanders invited to speak. Several Vermont legislators confirmed. Live music. Possibly march. Please contribute ideas and help spread the word. (You won't read about it in the Reformer.)

Thank you!!
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