News in Brief: April 8, 2014
Massachusetts Nurses Association – North Adams
Nurses picketed outside the North Adams Regional Hospital on Thursday following the abrupt closing of the facility by its owners at the end of last month. The nurses and their union, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, are calling for state action to save the hospital, and hundreds of unionized jobs.
US Department of Labor v Ward’s Cleaning Services – Peabody, Mass.
A federal judge in Boston has issued a judgment against Ward’s Cleaning Services in Peabody, Mass. following a lawsuit filed on behalf of employees by the US Department of Labor. The company, and its owner David Ward, have been ordered to pay over $1m in unpaid wages and damages to 149 low-wage employees. The workers were employed as night cleaning crews, housekeepers, and dishwashers at around 85 hotels and restaurants in the Boston area, and were knowingly not paid overtime wages owed to them between July 2009 and December 2012. The employer was found to have been directing employees to use multiple timecards with different names, altering timecards, paying employees with checks made out to false names and paying employees in cash.
Students for Justice in Palestine – Northeastern University
Member and supporters of the now suspended Northeastern University group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) protested at the Fenway campus on Tuesday. They were demonstrating against an invitation to six members of the Israeli Knesset to discuss Israeli politics from various political perspectives, including a member from the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party. Northeastern’s SJP hit out at what they claim is the university administration’s bias in favor of Israel. The protest was preceded by a lecture given by Palestinian-American journalist Ali Abunimah.
Worldwide Wave of Action – Dewey Square
To mark the anniversary of the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, local activists gathered at the site of Occupy Boston in Dewey Sq. on Friday. The event was organized as part of the Worldwide Wave of Action at Occupy sites around the globe, and more actions are expected over the coming months.