Unions, labor council endorse Wisnewski
GREENFIELD — The Town Council president and vice president, who are both up for re-election in June, have been endorsed by three local unions.
Council President Mark Wisnewski and Vice President Hillary Hoffman have both been endorsed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 455, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1459, as well as Hampshire Franklin Central Labor Council.
Combined, the unions and council represent hundreds of workers living in Greenfield who are employed in a variety of industries and workplaces, including Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Green Fields Market, Stop and Shop Supermarket, and state and municipal offices, according to spokesmen for a couple of the unions.
“We have endorsed Mark and Hillary because they both have a vision to keep Greenfield growing and Wal-Mart-free, and to help municipal workers retain their voice in collective bargaining,” said Ross Kiely, political director for UFCW Local 1459.
Kiely said UFCW admires both for their liberal leadership and tendencies.
According to Donna Stern, co-chair of the bargaining unit for registered nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Wisnewski and Hoffman have been endorsed by the MNA because they have demonstrated commitment to working with the community in restoring and maintaining access to health care services in Greenfield.
Brian Kenney, business manager and financial secretary for IBEW Local 455, said his union has endorsed Wisnewski and Hoffman because when Western Massachusetts Electric Co. workers were faced with the closing of the company’s service center in Greenfield, the two spoke with WMECO, other local politicians, town councilors and town leaders to try to do something about it.
“We thought it was a good idea to endorse them,” he said.
Ron Patenaude, president of HFCLC, said the two have repeatedly and consistently supported the working men and women of Greenfield.
“When the mayor of Greenfield attempted to take away collective bargaining rights from town employees, they stood proudly with a majority of the Town Council and said ‘No,’” said Patenaude. “When the mayor sought to remove Greenfield police and fire chiefs from Civil Service, they led the fight to keep those positions covered by Civil Service.”
He said Wisnewski and Hoffman have upheld collective bargaining and believe in every worker’s right to dignity and respect on the job.
“President Wisnewski and Vice President Hoffman are the clear choices for working men and women in this election,” said Patenaude.