On Monday, June 11, members of UE Local 228 participated in the Poor People's Campaign action at the New Hampshire state house in Concord to demand a living wage and a reversal of the assault on the rights of organized workers. The state of New Hampshire abolished its state minimum wage in 2011.
Local 228 members who attended the rally included Bill Ladd, President; Steve Gauthier, Steward; June Vermette, ret. Chief Steward; Beth Wheland, Chief Steward; and Nancy Zakupowsky.
UE members joined the Poor People's Campaign in occupying the Governor's Executive Council Chamber and holding a People's Hearing to allow New Hampshire citizens to air their grievances and demand redress.
Bill Ladd provided testimony to the People's Counsel in which he shared the UE's 75-year commitment to Single Payer for all and shared his local's successes in improving worker earnings substantially since the local first organized in October of 2016. Beth Wheland testified that going to work felt different now that unionized workers had created real power and had taken control of several aspects of their working lives.
At 5 p.m. state troopers entered the council chamber and instructed everyone to exit the premises as the building was now closed for the day. Ten people, including UE Field Organizer Zachary Knipe, remained seated and continued to take testimony for the hearing. They were arrested when they refused a second time to leave and were charged with a Class A misdemeanor for criminal trespassing.