May Day breakfast to honor workers

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LEWISTON — The Western Maine Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Museum L-A will host the 4th annual Workers Memorial Day/May Day Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 1, at the Franco-American Heritage Center, 46 Cedar St.

According to organizers, the event is meant to honor Maine workers who were injured or died on the job last year, to renew efforts to protect workers’ health and safety and to celebrate the accomplishments of working people and labor unions.

The breakfast will be followed by a labor concert at 9:30 a.m. in the upstairs concert hall with local musician Dave Rowe of the Dave Rowe Trio. The program will conclude with an awards presentation, a moment of silence and a tribute to the 29 West Virginia miners recently killed in a mine explosion, a closing ceremony and a reading of the names to honor the 33 Maine workers who died on the job in 2009. The closing ceremony will include a Lewiston Fire Department honor guard.

Awards this year will be given to Ed Gorham, recently retired president of the Maine AFL-CIO; Danny Fitzsimmons, past president of the union at the Bates Mill in Lewiston and an advocate who helped fellow laid-off millworkers get back on their feet; and the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Maine, for its work improving the lives and working conditions of restaurant workers.

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This year’s event will also feature a textile, bricklayer and shoe worker photo exhibit and labor poetry. The event is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $12. All proceeds from the breakfast benefit Museum L-A and the Western Maine Labor Council.

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